5309 web 1140x684

Voting in the United States

  • 15th Amendment

    15th Amendment
    The 15th Amendment, proposed and ratified during Reconstruction after the Civil War, established voting rights for African American men. Abolitionists and women largely supported the Amendment. However, several southern states still excluded African Americans from voting through literacy tests, poll taxes, and the grandfather clause. National Archives
  • Guinn vs. The United States

    Guinn vs. The United States
    "Guinn vs. the United States" ruled the grandfather clause unconstitutional because it clearly discriminated against Blacks at the polls. The grandfather clause, used in several southern states, said that men whose close ancestors were allowed to vote on Jan. 1, 1866, could vote without passing literacy tests. This allowed uneducated Whites to vote while not allowing African Americans to because no Blacks were allowed to vote in 1866. Oaklahoma Historical Society
  • 19th Amendment

    19th Amendment
    The 19th Amendment grants women the right to vote. The women's suffrage movement began in the mid-1800s and used tactics like lectures, writing, marches, and civil disobedience. Because women voting was seen as radical at the time, some activists tried to get women's suffrage laws passed in each state individually, as they thought this would be quicker than an amendment. National Archive
  • Indian Citizenship Act

    Indian Citizenship Act
    The Indian Citizenship Act granted citizenship to all Native Americans born in the United States. Before the Amendment passed, the first generation of Native Americans had gone through re-education programs, and thousands of non-citizen Native Americans served in WWI. However, the Amendment did not extend voting rights to Native Americans. Library Of Congress
  • Freedom Summer

    Freedom Summer
    Freedom Summer was a volunteer project organized by several civil rights organizations that aimed at registering as many African American voters as possible in Mississippi. More than 700 volunteers participated, and most of them were White. The people involved with Freedom Summer fought discrimination and intimidation at the polls and faced violence from the Ku Klux Klan and state and local law enforcement. History.com
  • 24th Amendment

    24th Amendment
    The 24th Amendment prevents national and state governments from taxing voters for federal elections. Poll taxes were used by several southern states after the passing of the 15th Amendment to prevent African Americans from voting because many of them could not afford to pay the poll tax; therefore, they were unjustly excluded from voting. National Archives
  • Voting Rights Act of 1965

    Voting Rights Act of 1965
    The Voting Rights Act of 1965 reinforces the 15th Amendment by outlawing literacy tests and allowing the federal government to oversee voter registration in states with a history of racial discrimination. In other words, the Bill helped to ensure equal voting rights based on race previously laid out by the poorly enforced 15th Amendment since Blacks in the South faced poll taxes, literacy tests, and intimidation. National Archives
  • 26th Amendment

    26th Amendment
    The 26th Amendment grants anyone 18 years or older the right to vote. Before the passing of the Amendment, 18-year-old men were drafted to fight in the Vietnam War. However, as the war lost support, the slogan "Old enough to fight, old enough to vote!" gained popularity. It referred to the 18-year-old men who were (possibly giving their lives) being drafted to fight in the Vietnam War, but could not vote for the leaders who were drafting them. National Archives
  • The Military and Overseas Empowerment Act

    The Military and Overseas Empowerment Act
    The Military and Overseas Empowerment Act ensures that people in the military are able to vote in US federal elections regardless of where they are stationed. This 2009 addition to the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act requires states to transmit absentee ballots to UOCAVA voters 45 days before elections and enforces this deadline for states. Department Of Justice
  • John Lewis Voting Rights Act

    John Lewis Voting Rights Act
    The John Lewis Voting Rights Act asserts that states with a history of "voting discrimination" must get approval from the Department Of Justice before making any law that changes the state's voting procedures/practices. This pre-approval process goes into effect for 10 years after a state meets a certain number/type of violations. The John Lewis Voting Rights Act is used to protect minority groups at the polls. Congress.gov