WYOMING – The U.S. Senate unanimously passed by voice vote a bill by U.S. Sens. Cynthia Lummis, Chris Van Hoolen, John Barrasso and Ben Cardin that would honor women’s rights pioneer Louisa Swain.
The bill, Sen. Lummis’s first standalone legislation to pass the Senate, would rededicate a federal building in Cheyenne to honor Swain and her historic vote. Swain, a 70-year old Laramie resident at the time, became the first woman to cast a legal vote under Wyoming law when she cast her vote in the 1870 general election.
Lummis and Barrasso were joined in sponsoring the bill by Van Hoolen and Cardin of Maryland. Swain moved to Maryland following her historic vote 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 US. Senate be one that commemorates a true pioneer from the states of Wyoming and Maryland,” Lummis said. “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.”
Barrasso added to the vote’s passage, saying it adds to Wyoming’s heritage and legacy of pioneering women.
“As the Equality State, we proudly celebrate Wyoming’s trailblazing women and their efforts to advance the rights of women,” Barrasso said. “Dedicating a federal building in honor of Louisa Swain is a fitting tribute to her historic election vote, a critical milestone in ensuring the full participation of women in our democracy.”
The bill now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.