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New Jersey School Suffrage Act, 1887
Source, Acts of the One Hundred and Eleventh Legislature of the State of New Jersey, 1887 (Camden, 1887), 149.

In 1887, the New Jersey Legislature passed a law giving the vote to women at school meetings.  The Act was a very narrow one, for it only enfranchised women who lived in rural areas and small towns where school affairs were voted on by the public at school meetings.  Large towns and cities had special school elections and at these women were not permitted to vote.  The legislation was not sought by suffragists, who generally opposed such limited fragments of suffrage, but it did serve to give some New Jersey women a voice in school issues and finances.


An Act giving the right of suffrage to all persons, whether male or female, in any school meeting in any school district of the state.

I. BE IT ENACTED by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey, That every citizen of the United States of the age of twenty-one who shall have been a resident of this state for one year, and of the county in which he or she claims a vote for five months next before said meeting, shall have the right to vote at any school meeting in any school district of the state wherein they may reside; provided, that no person in the military, naval or marine service of the United State, by being stationed in any garrison, barrack or military or naval force or station within the state, and no pauper, idiot, insane person, or person convicted of a crime, which now excludes him or her from being a witness, unless pardoned or restored by law to the right of suffrage, shall enjoy the right to vote in any school meeting.

Approved April 8, 1887.



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