Women Voting For First Time
Women line up to vote for the first time in New York after the passage of the 19th Amendment, in 1920.Underwood Archives/Getty Images
Women Voting For First Time
Mrs. Warren Harding Voting
1924Prominent Republican women call on Pres. to discuss the part of women will play in the coming election. Lft to rt.: Miss Lucille Atcherson, State Dept., Mrs. B.P. Bruggmann, US Compensation Comm., Miss Mabel W. Willebrandt, Asst. Atty. Gen.; Mrs. Mary Anderson, Chmn., Woman's Bur., Labor Dept.; Miss Anne Webster, Chmn. Nat'l League of Women Voters; Miss Julia Lathrop, 1st Vice-Chmn., Nat'l League Women Voters; Miss Grace Abbott, Head Children's Bur., Labor Dept. [White House, Washington, D.C.]
Vote, Vote, Vote
Governor an "early bird"--Mr. and Mrs. Smith voted at Public School No. 3, Oliver and Henry Street  [between 1919 and 1928]
Mr. And Mrs. Frank Loesch Voting
Clayton F. Smith, Deputy Commissioner of City Works, and his wife, Mayme Paschen, looking toward the camera, standing next to a ballot box at a voting poll center in Chicago, in 1928.
Photograph shows suffragist shows Bertha M. Furman (d. 1930) who worked for the League of Women Voters, teaching women how to vote. (Source: Flickr Commons project, 2016 and similar Bain negative: LC-B2- 4454-16) http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/ggb2006001399/
Women line up to vote for the first time in New York after the passage of the 19th Amendment, in 1920.
Underwood Archives/Getty Images
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See Vintage Pictures of Female Voters in the Early Years of Suffrage

Nov 03, 2016

As Tuesday's election approaches, it's clear that women voters will play a major role in the outcome. Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have focused many aspects of their campaigns on gaining support from women, as gender issues have come front and center in the race. Earlier in the season, a FiveThirtyEight poll—and a map that dramatized the gender gap in the way women and men see the candidates—even prompted a hashtag calling for the repeal of the 19th Amendment, which upon its ratification in 1920 gave American women the right to vote.

A group that less than a century ago was still fighting for the right to vote has now become one of the most essential factors in this year's election.

Though some states extended the vote to women before 1920, the constitutional amendment guaranteeing suffrage was a turning point in American politics. Women have voted more than men in every presidential election since 1980, according to the Center for American Women and Politics.

And, of course, there's another way in which women are affecting this year's presidential race: In 2016, for the first time ever, American voters will have the option of casting a vote for a woman on a major-party ticket.

Here, TIME looks back at the first decade of female voters.

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