Virginia Memory, Library of Virginia
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THIS DAY IN VIRGINIA HISTORY

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May 14, 1836

Poll List, City of Staunton, May 1836, Manuscript, Staunton City, Election Returns, Overseer of the Poor Papers, Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia. Poll List, City of Staunton, May 1836, Manuscript, Staunton City, Election Returns, Overseer of the Poor Papers, Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia. Poll List, City of Staunton, May 1836, Manuscript, Staunton City, Election Returns, Overseer of the Poor Papers, Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia.

Staunton Resolved to Hold a Referendum

Staunton's city council decided on May 14, 1836, to hold a referendum ascertaining whether the city's land owners would approve an increase in taxes to pay for the installation of a city water system. Women were not legally allowed to vote, but the opinions of some women landowners were tallied as proxy votes in the May 20 poll. This is the first recorded example of women voting in Virginia. Women legally gained the right to vote in Virginia when the Nineteenth Amendment to the United Sates Constitution was ratified in 1920.