Show Of Pride In Laramie For Women Voters

Nov 8, 2016

Voters in Laramie gather at the statue of Louisa Swain, the first woman to cast a vote.
Credit Caroline Ballard

As voters cast their ballots this Election Day in the first race to feature a major-party female candidate for President, some Laramie residents gathered to honor the first female voter. In 1870, Wyoming became the first state to give women the right to vote. Laramie resident Louisa Swain was the first woman to exercise that right. 

Around 50 voters gathered at the statue of Swain in Laramie Tuesday to pay their respects and to voice support for female candidates, including presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

At the gathering several people addressed the crowd, saying why they were voting and what the day meant to them.

“I think that there were plenty of people who had thought about Louisa and were going to come today anyway,” said Caroline McCracken-Flesher, who organized the impromptu event via Facebook.

She said being in Laramie on this Election Day had special significance.

“The first woman to vote anywhere voted in Wyoming,” she said. “Whatever your party, today is a huge day to celebrate, and I hope that we do this every year to celebrate all the women who stand up when they were told to sit down and stand forward when they could have stood back.”

Wyoming, which currently has the lowest percentage of women in its legislature in the nation, could add more women to the State Legislature this election. Thirty-seven women are running for state office, more than in years past.