Voting-Related Events General Events

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Timeline Items for Voting Rights

Voting-Related Events

General Events

1776-1789—Revolutionary Era

1787—U.S. Constitution leaves rules about voting rights to the states

1789—U.S. Constitution adopted

1812-1821—10 states eliminate property requirements for voting

1819—Maine constitution grants right to vote to Native Americans who pay taxes

1840-1847—More states eliminate property restrictions; restrictions on Catholics and non-Christians also eliminated

1846-1848—U.S.-Mexican War results in U.S. acquisition of the far West; Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo declares that Mexican residents of the new territory can choose to become U.S. citizens

1848—Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

1848—First Woman’s Rights Convention at Seneca Falls, where the Declaration of Sentiments calls for woman suffrage

1869—Women get the right to vote in Wyoming territory

1861-1865—Civil War

1870—15th Amendment

1873—Trial of Susan B. Anthony for voting in 1872 presidential election


1875—Minor v. Happersett, in which U.S. Supreme Court denied that the 14th Amendment gave women the right to vote

1879—Standing Bear Trial, recognized Indians as persons with rights

1887—Dawes Act, offered citizenship to Native Americans who accepted allotments

1890-1910—Women granted the right to vote in 11 western states and territories

1910—National American Woman Suffrage Association organized

1915—In Guinn v. United States, Supreme Court struck down the use of grandfather clauses to restrict voting

1914-1918—World War I

1916—Organization of the National Woman’s Party, which used militant tactics to advance the cause of woman suffrage

1919—American Indian Citizenship Act granted rights to Native Americans who served in World War I

1920—19th Amendment ratified.

1924—The Indian Citizenship Act granted Native Americans full citizenship rights, including the right to vote

1929—League of United Latin American Citzens (LULAC) organized

Late 1930s—Maine, which had ignored its own constitutional provision allowing Native Americans to vote, complied with the Indian Citizenship Act

1941-1945 World War II

1948—Arizona Supreme Court struck down a state law prohibiting Native Americans from voting

1962—New Mexico became the last state to enfranchise Native Americans

1956-1965?—Civil Rights Movement

1964—Freedom Summer, a massive voter registration drive in the South

1964—24th Amendment invalidated the use of poll taxes in federal elections

1965?-1973—Vietnam War

1965—Voting Rights Act

1970—26th Amendment granted right to vote to 18-21 year-olds

1974—Southwest Voter Registration Education Project founded by Willie Velasquez (Su Vota es Su Voz)

1975—Congress extended the Voting Rights Act to apply to the Hispanic, Native American, and Asian voters

1992—National Coalition for the Homeless begins sponsorship of “You Don’t Need A Home to Vote” campaign

1994—National Voter Registration Act (motor voter law)

KEY: Property A Native American

Property B Mexican American

Women A Women B

African American A African American B

African American C Other

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