Suffrage Was Political Process
New Mexico's Role in Passing Suffrage
Constitutional amendments become law through a two-part process. First a joint resolution must be voted on and passed by the US House and Senate, after which the new amendment is ratified by a majority of state legislatures before becoming national law. The 19th Amendment was voted on and passed by the US House and Senate in 1919. It took three votes to pass in the Senate. Throughout 1919 and 1920, the amendment was ratified by state legislatures; New Mexico was the 32nd state to do so on February 16, 1920.
Nina Otero-Warren of Santa Fe influenced this process. Otero-Warren came from a prominent family with many local politicians. She was picked by Alice Paul to head the CUWS, and she was a leader in the Republican Party of New Mexico. At the national level, Otero-Warren helped elect New Mexico Senator Andrieus Aristiens Jones. Jones was chair of the Senate Committee on Women’s Suffrage and sheparded the 19th Amendment through three votes to its ultimate passage. During state deliberations, Otero-Warren was called in to convince a hesitant state legislature to ratify the bill in the final hours of a specially convened session. She helped ensure that New Mexico women were able to vote in the 1920 presidential election.