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Did the Nineteenth Amendment give women the right to vote?

Yes and no. After nearly one hundred years of advocacy and sacrifice, ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment meant that women could no longer be excluded from the polls because of their sex, but it did not guarantee them ballots. Now citizenship laws, state voter laws designed to enforce segregation, and cultural prejudices meant that African American, Latina, Native American, Asian American, immigrant, and poor white women faced the same voting discrimination as their male counterparts.

The Nineteenth Amendment was another step in women’s continuing struggle for civil rights. It was a hard-won but not perfect victory. Women from all states could cast ballots in the 1920 presidential election, women were mentioned for the first time in the Constitution, and Americans recognized that they could challenge discrimination based on sex and win.

“The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”

—The Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution