History of Voting

  • NC Constitution is passed

    NC Constitution is passed
    In order for NC to be properly recognized as a state within the newly formed America, a constitution was needed. Thus, the 1776 NC constitution was created for that purpose. It detailed basic laws, ideals, and systems within the state (including voting rights) that people within the state had. This was important because it was the first implementation of voting rights within NC and some of the first in the nation.
  • Passage of 15th Amendment

    Passage of 15th Amendment
    The 15th amendment says that noone can be denied the right to vote based on race or previous servitude. Following the Civil War, the 15th amendment was supposed to give black people the right to vote but it was hindered by acts made later such as literacy tests. Although this did not ultimately accomplish voting rights for black people, it was a step in the right direction to provoke people to fight for their civil rights. It expanded democracy by allowing more people to express their views.
  • Literacy Test -> 1890-1965

    Literacy Test -> 1890-1965
    Though many things have changed over the years, there are still moments and acts within the history of voting that are terrible. One of these things was the implementation of Literacy Tests in American voting. It prevented any illiterate citizens from voting within America, regardless of who they were. This held back the development of many democratic ideals in America, but it eventually backfired when many white and rich citizens could not read at one point, and the tests were removed.
  • Poll Taxes -> 1890s-1965

    Poll Taxes -> 1890s-1965
    Once again, another preventative measure was put in place in order to prevent many minority groups from voting in America. This was poll taxes, which differed in cost between states and cities. These costs ranged from $1 to $3, which was quite expensive for the time. This prevented many people from minority groups from voting, directly affecting the ideals of democracy from flowing throughout the country. Eventually, they were phased out, allowing for everyone to have a chance to vote.
  • Grandfather Clauses -> 1895-1965

    Grandfather Clauses -> 1895-1965
    As an alternative to literacy tests, an even more sinister solution was developed. This solution was the Grandfather Clause, which stated that if your grandfather could vote, you could vote yourself. This (especially at the time) was targeted towards slaves and previous slaves, as their grandfathers had obviously not been able to vote because of their social status. Eventually, this plan lost its effectiveness and was removed from voting many years later.
  • Passage of 19th Amendment

    Passage of 19th Amendment
    The 19th amendment states that no one can be deprived of the right to vote based on sex. The passage of this amendment was subsequent to the women’s suffrage protests that took place after the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848. This amendment is important because it grants women the right to vote in all elections. This expands democracy in America by allowing voters to not be discriminated against by an inherent characteristic, which allows more people to voice their opinions.
  • Indian Citizenship Act

    Indian Citizenship Act
    The ICA granted Native Americans citizenship in the U.S. Progressive Republicans wanted to grant citizenship to those in friendly tribes, however, privileges that come with citizenship such as voting were decided on by states. Similar to the 15th amendment, although the act didn’t give Natives the complete right to vote and citizenship, it was a step in the right direction and expanded our democracy through our diversity in politics.
  • Passage of 23rd Amendment

    Passage of 23rd Amendment
    The 23rd amendment allowed for residents of DC to vote for congress officials. Additionally, it allowed for them to vote for Presidents and Vice Presidents. Originally, the District of Columbia was not classified as a state and was not allowed to have official votes because of this. Thanks to the passing of the 23rd amendment, many more were able to vote and uphold the ideals of American democracy.
  • Passage of 24th Amendment

    Passage of 24th Amendment
    This amendment prohibits poll taxes from being used in federal elections. This amendment was passed because of the Civil Rights Movement that was occurring at the time that recognized that poll taxes were only instituted as a way to keep black and poor people from voting. This amendment was significant because it was one step closer to eradicating any obstacles for black people from voting. It expanded democracy because it allowed those who could not afford a poll tax to have a say in politics.
  • Voting Rights Act of 1965

    Voting Rights Act of 1965
    During the 1950’s-1960’s, civil rights movements swept through the nation. A large focus of these movements were for equality in voting rights for all, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was the solution. It prevented and banned all forms of discrimination in official voting, regardless of what others said. This was possibly one of the biggest steps towards the right direction for America and democracy as a whole.
  • Passage of 26th Amendment

    Passage of 26th Amendment
    The 26th amendment says that you can vote as long as you are 18. Drafts, specifically the one for Vietnam, led to the passage of this amendment because people felt if 18 year-olds were old enough to fight in a war, they were old enough to vote. This was significant because it gave younger people who were being forced to engage in political matters a say in said political matters. It expanded democracy because of this very reason, it allowed younger people to have a say in politics.