WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last Thursday, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed by voice vote a bill by U.S. Sens. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo.; Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.; John Barrasso, R-Wyo., and Ben Cardin, D-Md., honoring Louisa Swain, a women’s rights pioneer.
This bill, Lummis’ first stand-alone legislation to pass the Senate, rededicates a federal building located at 308 W. 21st St. in Cheyenne in honor of Louisa Swain and her election vote.
At 70 years old, Swain – a Laramie resident – cast her vote in the general election of 1870, 50 years before women’s voting rights were recognized in the rest of the country. Her vote made her the pioneering woman who cast the first legal vote in a general election under Wyoming law. She later moved to Maryland, and was laid to rest in Baltimore.
“As the first woman to serve Wyoming in the U.S. Senate, it is an honor to have my first bill that passes the U.S. Senate be one that commemorates a true pioneer from the states of Wyoming and Maryland,” Lummis said in a news release. “I can’t think of a better name for a federal building in the first state to recognize this right and enshrine full suffrage for women in law. It’s been an honor working with colleagues in Wyoming and Maryland on this bill to honor a pioneer so important to both of our states.”
The legislation now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.