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History of Voting Rights http://www.civiced.

org/resources/curriculum/voting
1776 At the time of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, free white male property owners have
the right to vote unless they are members of certain religious groups.
1790 Asian Americans are considered aliens ineligible for citizenship and are denied the right to vote.
The state of New Jersey gives women the right to vote.
1810 Religious affiliation is eliminated as a voting requirement.
1848 Literate, bilingual Mexican male property owners in the Southwest are given U.S. citizenship and the
right to vote.
1866 U.S. citizenshipbut not suffrageis granted to native-born Americans
1870 The Fifteenth Amendmentgranting U.S. citizenship to African American menis approved.
1882 The Chinese Exclusion Act denies U.S. citizenship and the right to vote to Chinese Americans.
1884 United States Supreme Court denies the right to vote to Native Americans in Nebraska
1887 The Dawes General Allotment Act grants conditional citizenship to Native Americans who relinquish
all tribal ideologies.
1888 A poll tax is passed in the state of Florida, denying many African Americans the right to vote.
1890 Native Americans are allowed to apply for citizenship with the passage of the Indian Naturalization
Act.
1890-96

A number of states in the north and south introduce literacy tests as a voting requirement.

1920 The Nineteenth Amendment grants women the right to vote.

1921 The United States Supreme Court rules that Japanese American people may not become U.S.
citizens.
1924 The Indian Citizenship Act gives the right of citizenship to Native Americans who were born in the
United States. Individual states, however, could still deny them the right to vote.
1952 The right of U.S. citizenship is given to Japanese Americans born in the United States.
1957 The Civil Rights Act of 1957 gives the U. S. Department of Justice the right to initiate lawsuits on
behalf of African Americans denied the right to vote.
1959 On August 29, the U. S. Supreme Court rules in the case Lassiter v. Northampton County Board of
Elections that literacy tests in North Carolina do not violate any constitutional rights.
1960 The Civil Rights Act of 1960 grants African Americans the ability to register to vote at a federal court
if they have previously been denied the right to register.
1961 The Twenty-third Amendment grants District of Columbia residents the right to vote in presidential
elections.

1963 Martin Luther King Jr. leads a March on Washington to address African American rights. King
delivers his I Have a Dream speech at the Lincoln Memorial.
1964 The Twenty-fourth Amendment declares the use of poll taxes unconstitutional in presidential and
congressional elections. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 passes. It declares that a person may not be
discriminated against based on gender, religion, race, and nationality.

1965 The Voting Rights Act of 1965 is signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson declaring that the national
government would take immediate action against any unconstitutional acts that limit minority group voting
rights. The act also declares that literacy tests are unconstitutional.
1971 The Twenty-sixth Amendment grants 18-year-old Americans the right to vote.

1974 The United States Supreme Court grants states the right to deny convicted felons of their right to
vote.
1975 Literacy tests used as voting qualifications are declared unconstitutional.
1982 President Ronald Reagan signs the reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act. New provisions extend
voting rights protection to the blind, disabled, and illiterate voter.
1990 The Americans with Disabilities Act, signed into law, requires that services to support disabled
citizens must be provided by election workers and polling sites.
1993 The National Voter Registration Act, often referred to as the Motor Voter Act, requires states to
accept voter registration by mail.
2002 The Help America Vote Act provides funds to states to replace old and outdated voting machines and
to improve the procedures of elections.
2009 The Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act allows military and non-military American citizens
serving in foreign countries to receive voter registration cards and absentee ballots.