Lummis introduces bill to state's first female voter

WYOMING – A bipartisan effort to honor a leader in women’s suffrage would allow Wyoming to honor its first woman voter.

U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis teamed with Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen from Maryland to introduce a bill honoring Louisa Swain by naming a federal building in Cheyenne after her. Swain became the first woman to cast her vote on Sept. 6, 1870 – a year after Wyoming became the first state or territory to recognize women’s voting rights equal to men. She was a 70-year-old Laramie resident who cast her vote a full 50 years before the rest of the country.

Swain’s contribution to suffrage has been commemorated through the Louisa Swain Foundation, a group that has spearheaded her legacy.

Sen. Lummis is an honorary member of that foundation.

“I can’t think of a better name for a federal building in the first state to recognize a woman’s right to vote,” Sen. Lummis said. “Many women played an essential role in the journey toward suffrage, but Louisa Swain’s contribution was the shot heard around the world. She greatly deserves this recognition.”

Should the legislation pass, the federal building located at 308 W 21st St. in Cheyenne would be rededicated in honor of her historic vote.