Voting rights timeline

  • New York Repeal of Property Act

    New York Repeal of Property Act
    New York officially repealed the law that people must own property in order to vote in 1846, which was a huge milestone for African Americans. Since most African Americans were to poor to afford property, they weren't allowed to vote.
  • 15th Amendment

    15th Amendment
    The 15th Amendment granted African American men the right to vote, this was men specifically. The Amendment was passed by Congress on February 26, 1869, but was officially ratified and passed on February 03, 1870.
    National Archives
  • Alice Paul

    Alice Paul
    Alice Paul, a womens rights activist, graduated from two schools, earning a degree in biology, and a degree in sociology. She went to England as well to get a PhD. She was the heart of many peaceful protests outside the whitehouse.
    National Womens Museum
  • Guinn v. United States

    Guinn v. United States
    This court case abolished the "grandfather clause" in Oklahoma as it impended on the 15th Amendment, and the rights granted within. This was also discriminatory against African Americans.
    Oklahoma Historical Society
  • 19 Amendment

    19 Amendment
    in 1848, the first women's suffrage convention was held in Seneca Falls, NY. This sparked a huge movement in which many followed. Despite the success of the first convention, it wasn't until 1920 that the 19th amendment finally got passed, and granted women the right to vote.
    National Park Service
  • Indian Citizenship Act

    Indian Citizenship Act
    This gave citizenship to all Native Americans born in the United States; however, this did not extend to voting until 1957, as some states barred Native Americans from voting. This was passed on June 02, 1924.
    Library of Congress
  • McCarren-Walter Act

    McCarren-Walter Act
    The Immigration and Nationality Act (McCaren-Walter Act), reinforced the Immigration act of 1924, and its system of immigrant selection. It also introduced a new system of Immigration, based on skills and family.
    Office of The Historian
  • 24th amendment

    24th amendment
    The 24th amendment was ratified on January 24, 1964, and was written to abolish and forbid state and federal government from adding poll taxes onto voters. Specifically, African Americans, since they were the only people who were not just poor, but didn't have a Grandfather who could vote, according to the Grandfather Clause.
    National Archives
  • Reynolds v. Sims

    Reynolds v. Sims
    Court case in 1964, where it was decided that legislatures be apportioned equally based on the population in the state, then the geography of the state.
  • Voting Rights Act

    Voting Rights Act
    This act was signed by President Lyndon Johnson, and it enforced the 15th amendment, all while outlawing many of the discriminatory actions towards voting. This included poll taxes, literacy tests, and other loopholes that prevented them from voting.
    National Archives
  • Freedom Summer

    Freedom Summer
    A voter registration drive in 1964 to register more Black voters in Mississippi. Over 700 White volunteers join the African Americans in Mississippi, fighting against intimidation at polls. This helped lead to the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
  • John Lewis Voting Rights Act

    John Lewis Voting Rights Act
    After Bloody Sunday, President Lyndon Johnson sent a voting rights bill to Congress, giving direct federal intervention to enable African Americans to register and vote and banning unjust methods to prevent them from getting to the polls. John Lewis act gave way for ALL minorities equal opportunity to vote.
  • 26th Amendment

    26th Amendment
    The 26th Amendment granted the right to vote 18yr olds, the popular phrase "old enough to fight, old enough to vote" was used by men who were 18 years old and believed they had the right to vote for who was sending them off to fight. The Amendment was passed by Congress on March 23, 1971, and ratified on July 1, 1971. This was by far the fastest for an Amendment to be ratified.
    White House
  • Americans with Disabilities Acts

    Americans with Disabilities Acts
    Prohibits the discrimination of persons with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodations, communications, and access to state and local government programs. Was passed on July 26, 1990, and was signed by George Bush.
    US Department of Labor
  • Motor Voter Law

    Motor Voter Law
    The motor voter law has made it easier for all americans to vote, register to vote, and keep their registration. It also allowed the Department of Justice to bring civil actions into federal court.
    Department of Justice
  • Jennings Randolph

    Jennings Randolph
    Most notably known for being a part of The House of Representatives from 1933-1947, he is also known as the father of the nation's interstate highway system. He played a vital role in the construction of roads and bridges.
    The Washington Post
  • Military and Overseas

    Military and Overseas
    The 'MOVE' act allowed people from overseas to register online, specifically absent uniformed services (aka the military). This was an add on to a previous act, the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee act, and it protects their right to vote, no matter where they are.
    Department Of Justice
  • Shelby County v Holder

    Shelby County v Holder
    Shelby County, Alabama, filed a lawsuit against the supreme court, declaring that Section 5 of the voting rights act was unconstitutional. The supreme court ruled out that Section 4(b), which decides what jurisdictions are covered by Article 5, was unconstitutional on the account that it used an older formula. This means Section 5 is inoperable until Congress enacts a new formula.
    Brennan Center of Justice
  • Florida Amendment 4

    Florida Amendment 4
    Approved by nearly 65 percent of Florida voters approved amendment 4, a constitutional amendment that restores most voters rights to floridians who have completed their sentence. However, most find that Floridas "pay to vote" system is unconstitutional.
    Brennan Center for Justice