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Voting Rights: A Short History | Voting Rights | Carnegie Corporation of New York

Voting in 1964

For an entire century following the Civil War, voting was restricted due to poll taxes: people had to pay in order to be allowed to vote. However, in 1966 the Supreme Court ruled that poll taxes were unconstitutional.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Voting Rights: A Short History | Voting Rights | Carnegie Corporation of New York

Voting Rights: A Short History | Voting Rights | Carnegie Corporation of New York

https://www.carnegie.org/topics/topic-articles/voting-rights/voting-rights-timeline/

carnegie.org

18

Key Ideas

Voting in the 1700s

For decades, only white property holders would have the right to vote in the United States. Moreover, some states even made sure that only Christian men had this vote.

Voting in the 1800s

Even though during the Reconstruction period, after the Civil War, individuals were supposed to be allowed to vote no matter their race, in the following decades many Southern states, by means of poll taxes or literacy tests, would still limit the right to vote of the African American men.

1920 and women's voting right

In 1920 women won the right to vote with the ratification of the 19th amendment to the American Constitution.

Voting in the 1960s

In 1960 voting was still mainly limited to white property holders in the South of the United States. Therefore, starting with 1965 there were repeated protest marches in order to make the nation aware of this injustice towards black people, immigrants and poor individuals.

Voting in 1964

For an entire century following the Civil War, voting was restricted due to poll taxes: people had to pay in order to be allowed to vote. However, in 1966 the Supreme Court ruled that poll taxes were unconstitutional.

Voting in 1965

In 1965 the Congress passed the Voting Rights Act. This did not only remove policies and practices that had been previously used in order to limit voting, but it also suppressed voting rights based on race.

Voting in 1971

The 26th amendment introduced a prohibition that made possible that any person 18 years of age and over would be able to vote.

Voting in 1975

Congress introduced new provisions to the Voting Rights Act that would enable minority groups to vote, helping them with multilingual assistance at the polls.

Voting in 1982

The Voting Rights Act was extended for another 25 years through a law passed by the Congress, while there were also being asked steps to be taken towards making voting more accessible to both elderly and people with disabilities.

Voting in 1993

Congress passed the National Voter Registration Act, according to which citizens were, among other provisions, allowed to vote when they applied for their driving license.

Voting in 2000

During the Bush-Gore Presidential race, many of the problems faced by the USA elections became public: faulty equipment, bad ballot design, inconsistent rules etc.

Voting in 2002

In 2002 the Congress passed the Help America Vote Act, that would allow elections to go more smoothly. Therefore, outdated voting equipment was replaced, voter registration lists were created statewide and people with disabilities had the chance to start voting easier.

Voting in 2010

In 2012 was created the State Infrastructure Fund, which had as purpose to invest in advancing voting rights and expanding voting among different communities that had long been underrepresented.

Voting in 2013

2013 was an important year in terms of voting rules in the USA. For instance, the Supreme Court changed the Voting Rights Act: the preclearance requirement was therefore removed. As a direct consequence of this, many states went back on imposing restrictions on who could vote, basing their decisions mainly on racism and discrimination.

Voting in 2014

While many states were going back to imposing their restrictions on who could vote, voting rights organizations were fighting in order to give everybody a fair chance to express their will. The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the collaborative of 12 such organizations, played a major role in decreasing injustice in the field.

Voting in 2016

Trump's election in 2016 was largely debated, as many votes had been made illegally. However, government has not yet proven able to make the necessary investments in elections, which would normally lead to more trustworthy results.

Voting in 2018

In 2018, there was still a lot of discrimination going on when it came to voting: election officials would close polling places, letting communities of color without the chance to vote or even cut voting hours, all in order to discriminate the black population. However, in November 2018, a record number of votes was recorded, with many women and candidates of color participating in the election process.

Voting in 2019

2019 was all about preparing the upcoming elections from 2020. These are to be based on the Census and will most probably lead to an even bigger injustice towards the already underrepresented populations.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

1800: Jefferson and Adams

1800: Jefferson and Adams

The outcome was so bizarre, the United States had to amend the Constitution.

  • The election of 1800 saw Thomas Jefferson tie with his Democratic-Republican "running mate" Aaron Burr. Both...

1824: 'Corrupt bargain'

  • Andrew Jackson won the popular vote by less than 39,000 ballots and took 99 Electoral College votes. John Quincy Adams secured 84, William Crawford won 41, and Henry Clay had 37.
  • Clay, with the least votes, got the boot, and his supporters shifted their support to Adams, who would go on to win the majority of the House vote.

After his inauguration, Adams selected Clay as his secretary of state. Jackson accused Adams and Clay of a "corrupt bargain."

1860: Nation divided

The 1860 election was notable because it ripped the long-dominant Party (and nation) in half.

  • The Democrats were unable at their 1860 convention to establish an official party line on slavery.
  • At a second convention that year, the Democrats nominated Stephen Douglas, but many Southerners in the party selected Breckinridge as their man. Both would claim to be the official Democratic candidate.
  • Lincoln snared 40% of the popular vote but took most of the North in the Electoral College.
  • Douglas was second in the popular vote but took only Missouri.
  • Breckenridge took most of the South.
  • Bell's middle of the road policies earned him the middle of the road.

In 1861, delegates from South Carolina, and six of the Southern states formed the Confederate States of America and selected Jefferson Davis as their president.

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The main parties

In the US, there are only two parties considered by most voters - the Democrats (the liberal party) and the Republicans (the conservative party).

Others, like the Libertarian, Green ...

The present

At present, presidential hopefuls are battling for their party's nomination in caucuses and primary elections across the country.

State governments run primary elections the same way as a general election.

If a candidate wins a primary election, they win either all or a proportion of the state's delegates. These delegates will then vote for them at the party convention, where the presidential nominee is named.

Caucuses

A handful of states have caucuses instead of primaries. The parties run caucuses in precincts across the state.

Caucuses give parties more flexibility in determining the rules. In Democratic caucuses, votes are determined by standing in groups around a room.

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2020: An Election Year

2020 was supposed to be an election year in the United States before it got upended by the Pandemic. Currently, seven states have postponed the presidential primaries and there is uncert...

Voting by Mail

While postponing of elections is one option, there is a way that people can vote from home, using paper ballots and snail mail, or dropping the ballots at the municipal office.

The State of Ohio has already converted the democratic primary into 100 percent mail-in ballots. Absentee ballots, sick voters and logistical issues of physical votes can make the process slower than electronic voting or paper ballots.

Paper Ballots

..are safer and easier to sanitize, as compared to touch screens, as any public accessible touch surface is a potential super spreader. Voters with physical disabilities, who cannot use paper ballots or mail it, can be made to use the touch screen machines after it is cleaned thoroughly.

Paper ballots are immune to electronic hacks and can be recounted in case of discrepancies.

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