History Of Voting Rights

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First Women's Suffrage Conference

1848

300 activists gather for a convention to strategize on women's suffrage. About 95 people sign the Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions which called for equal rights of women and men under the law and voting rights for women.

15th Amendment

February 26,1869

Passed shortly after the end of the Civil War as well as the period of Reconstruction following, the 15th Amendment helped make sure that the right to vote could not be taken away from someone because of their 'race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

Poll Taxes and Literacy Tests

1889 - 1890

Southern states began to charge a fee, known as a poll tax, to keep African Americans from voting. Because the taxes limit white voters, grandfather clauses were implemented to allow those who could vote before 1870 to continue voting.

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Radification of the 19th Amendment

August 26,1920

After 100 years of fighting for women's suffrage, keeping the suffrage movement alive through World War I and disagreements that threatened to tear the entire movement apart, all American women were finally granted the right to vote in any and all elections.

Poll Taxes Outlawed in Federal Elections

1964

The 24th Amendment is ratified, which prohibits poll taxes in elections for federal officials. The fees were imposed on voters in elections to prevent poor Americans, particularly people of color, from voting.

Voting Rights Act of 1965

August 6, 1965

Following the Jim Crow Era, African Americans all over the country began a fight for equality over the nation. After a march in Selma, Alabama which is now known as 'Bloody Sunday' for the hundreds of deaths that were caused by white policemen trying to stop the march, dozens of minorities gathered together the following Sunday to march again and caused enough press that the Voting Rights Act was signed into law.

Voting Age Lowered to 18

1971

The 26th Amendment permanently lowers the voting age for all elections to age 18. The change was largely in response to the Vietnam War and the feeling that young people who are old enough to die for their country are old enough to vote.

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