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When Did States Ratify the ERA?

A Year-by-Year List of When the 35 ‘Yes’ States Cast Their Votes

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ERA Supporters 1975

ERA Supporters 1975

Peter Keegan / Archive Photos / Getty Images

The proposed Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was sent to the states for ratification in 1972. Thirty-five states ratified the ERA from 1972 to 1977. Here is a look at when states ratified the ERA, year by year, throughout the 1970s ERA struggle.

More states ratified the amendment in the first year after it passed Congress than in the next five years combined. The initial quick pace of ratification supported the belief of most feminists, journalists, politicians and other public figures that ERA would become part of the Constitution. However, the amendment eventually fell three states short of the necessary three-fourths total, which would have been 38 out of 50 states.

When States Ratified the ERA

1972
In the first year, 22 states ratified the ERA.
Alaska, California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia, Wisconsin
Total states so far: 22

1973
Eight more states ratified the next year.
Connecticut, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oregon, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, Wyoming
Total states so far: 30

1974
The pace had slowed significantly as the number of remaining states decreased. Three states ratified.
Maine, Montana, Ohio
Total states so far: 33

1975: Only one state voted yes on ERA.
North Dakota
Total states so far: 34

1976: No states ratified.
Total states so far: 34

1977: Indiana became the last state to ratify the ERA.
Total states so far: 35

From 1978 to 1982, the ERA struggle continued but no more states ratified. Although the ERA Congressional instructions included a deadline for ratification, the deadline was not in the actual text of the amendment. There is a legal argument that the 35 ERA ratifications are still valid and therefore with three more states' approval, an Equal Rights Amendment can still become part of the Constitution.


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