Ninety years ago today, women gained the right to vote with passage of the 19th Amendment. Despite gains made in the political arena, there remains a gender gap in the election of women to highest public office, including the U.S. Congress where women occupy only 17 percent of the seats.
In general, women register and vote at a great rate than men. According to Census statistics of the voting age citizen population from the Nov. 2000 election, 72.8 percent of American women were registered to vote, compared to 69.1 percent of men. In California, the registration gap was 70.5 to 65.8 percent in favor of women. As for actually casting a vote, nationally registered female voters cast ballots at a rate of 65.7 percent, males 61.5 percent. In California, registered women outvoted men, 65.7 to 60.9 percent. See the attached spreadheet with additional voter data broken out by gender and race.
A 2009 Gallup report reveals a considerable gender gap in terms of party affiliation. Regardless of age, race, ethnicity and marital status women more often identify themselves as Democrats than men of similar demographics. In a poll conducted between January and May of 2009, 41 percent of women identifed as Democrats, compared to 32 percent of men who identified as Democrats. On the GOP side, the spread was 28 percent for men and 25 percent for women of voters who identified as Republicans.
PHOTO CREDIT: Voters cast their ballots early on electronic voting terminals at a polling place inside the Westfield Main Place mall in Santa Ana, Oct. 2006. (AP Photo/ Damian Dovarganes)