Puerto Rico and the 19th Amendment

Pureto rico shaded grey
Puerto Rico shaded gray, showing that it was not one of the original 36 states to ratify the 19th Amendment.


Women fought for the right to vote since the mid-1800s. They marched, protested, lobbied, and even went to jail. By the 1870s, women pressured Congress to vote on an amendment that would give them suffrage rights. This amendment became known as the 19th Amendment.

After decades of arguments for and against women's suffrage, Congress finally voted in favor of the 19th Amendment in 1919. This is called ratification. After Congress ratified the 19th Amendment, at least 36 states needed to vote in favor of it for it to become law. By August of 1920, 36 states ratified the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote.

Flag of Puerto Rico
Flag of Puerto Rico. CC0
Puerto Rico is a United States territory, not a state. Because of this, it did not have the opportunity to ratify (or reject) the 19th Amendment. Puerto Rico residents are considered United States citizens, but are unable to vote for US President.

Last updated: August 3, 2018