THE HISTORY OF

VOTING RIGHTS

1776

21-Year-Old White Men

Only some 21-year-old white men gain the right to vote — property and religious requirements. (NJ, CT & PA free black men to vote)

1776

1856

All White Men

All white men gain the right to vote — no property and religious requirements.

1856

1870

15TH AMENDMENT: BLACK MEN

All men regardless of race gain the right to vote. Some restrictions were applied to deter black voters such as poll taxes, literacy tests and grandfather clauses.

1870

1920

19th Amendment: Women

Women gain the right to vote.

1920

1924

Native Americans

Native Americans gain the right to citizenship and vote.

1924

1943

Repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Acts

Chinese American citizens gain the right to vote.

1943

1961

23rd Amendment: The District of Columbia

DC citizens gain the right to vote for the President and Vice President.

1961

1965

Voting Rights Act

Outlawed voting barriers set on racial and ethnic minorities, such as literacy tests, discriminatory districting and registration practices.

1965

1970

26th Amendment: Voting Age

Lowered the official voting age in the United States from 21 to 18 years old.

1970

1982

Amendment to the Voting Rights Act

Provided voting assistance to blind, disabled or illiterate eligible voters.

1982

2006

Voting Rights Act renewed

Voting Rights Act renewed for an additional 25 years by Congress.

2006

2011

State Voting Restrictions

A number of voting restrictions were passed and/or introduced in state legislatures nationwide, such as voter ID laws, cuts to early voting and restrictions to voter registration. (State requiring federal approval: NH, NY, VA, NC, SC, GA, FL, AL, MI, LA, TX, AZ, SD, CA & AK)

2011

2013

Shelby County v. Holder

Gutted the Voting Rights Act, allowing for states and jurisdictions with a history of voter suppression to enact restrictive voter ID laws.

23 states have created new obstacles to voting as of the 2018 election.

2013

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