The Right To Vote: 1920-2018

2011 - 2018

Restrictive State Voting Laws; Shelby v. Holder; Court Challenges

2011/2012: Over 41 states introduced or passed restrictive voting laws that can disenfranchise an estimated 5 million minority, low-income, college age and senior voters. 2013: The SCOTUS Shelby v. Holder decision removes the Section 5 pre-clearance provision of the 1965 VRA. Over thirty states immediately begin to enact suppressive voter ID & registration requirements and severe polling place access reductions. Complex, race-based, redistricting (gerrymandering) tactics escalate. 2016/2017: Several regressive state legislative actions are overturned. 2018: Legal challenges continue.

2002

Help America Vote Act (HAVA)

2002: The Help America Vote Act passes in response to the disputed 2000 presidential election. Voting reforms require states to comply with several mandates, including improved voter access, clear voter ID requirements and voter registration processes, improved voter education, voting equipment upgrades, comprehensive poll training, etc.

2001

Felony Disenfranchisement

2001: In their final report, the National Commission On Federal Election Reforms recommends that all states allow felons to regain their right to vote after completing their sentences. States respond with inconsistent laws, with some states making it more difficult for felons to regain their voting rights.

1990 / 1993

Americans With Disabilities Act; National Voters Registration Act

1990: The Americans With Disabilities Act requires accommodation of disabled voters. 1993: The National Voters Registration Act, also known as the Motor Voter Act, was designed to raise voter participation rates. It requires voter registration material to be provided at DMV's and other public agencies.

1971 / 1975

26th Amendment Ratified; 1965 Voting Rights Act Amended

1971: After a long national debate that began in World War II and intensified during the Vietnam War, the 26th Amendment is ratified, extending the vote to citizens 18 years and older. 1975: The 1965 VRA is amended, requiring non-English language materials to be provided for "language minorities."

1965 / 1970

Voting Rights Act: Voting Rights Act Amendment

Five months after the national outrage caused by "Bloody Sunday" in Selma, AL, the Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965 becomes law on August 6. Using Federal enforcement mechanisms, it bars changes that "deny or abridge the right of any citizen to vote on account of race or color." The 1970 Voting Rights Amendment bans any "literacy test."

1964

The Civil Rights Act; 24th Amendment

1964: After eight months of bitter and contentious debate in Congress, the Civil Rights Act becomes law. It outlaws most forms of discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. It also prohibits racial segregation and outlaws unequal application of voter registration requirements. The 24th Amendment is ratified, prohibiting states from denying the right to vote for failure to pay any poll tax.

1963 / 1964

Freedom Summer

In the face of fierce resistance, the grassroots effort to register African-Americans intensifies. Hundreds of volunteers of all races join the "Mississippi Freedom Summer" voting rights campaign. Ku Klux Klan members murder young volunteers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner in Neshoba County.

1952 / 1957

McCarran Act; Civil Rights Act

The McCarran Act of 1952 removes all racial restrictions of the 1790 Naturalization Law. The Civil Rights Act of 1957 prohibits intimidation, coercion and other forms of interference against persons in Federal elections.

1944 / 1945

SCOTUS Rules All-White Primaries Unconstitutional

1944: The U.S. Supreme Court rules that all-white primaries are unconstitutional (Smith v Allright). Plaintiff's counsel is NAACP LDF's Thurgood Marshall. 1945: WWII black GI's return to the U.S. after fighting to help preserve freedom in other countries. They immediately become a powerful voice in the freedom struggle for civil rights and voting rights in their own country.

1942 / 1943 / 1946

Filipinos Granted Citizenship - Later Revoked; Chinese Exclusion Act Repealed

1942: Due to the strategic importance of the Philippines in World War II, Filipinos in the U.S. and the Philippines are granted citizenship. 1943: The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 is repealed. 1946: WWII ends (1945) and the U.S. Government revokes Filipino citizenship under the 1946 Rescission Act.

1922 / 1924

Asian-Americans, Asian-Indians and Native Americans

The U.S. Supreme Court denies Asian-Americans (1922) and Asian Indians (1924) a path to citizenship -- and the vote -- based on race. The Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 grants citizenship to all Native-Americans born in the United States.

1920

The Nineteenth Amendment

After decades of struggle and 42 years after the Woman's Suffrage Amendment was introduced in 1878, the 19th Amendment is finally ratified. It extends the vote to women on the same basis as men. However, Native-American, Mexican-American and African-American women (and men) were still subject to voter suppression tactics; and Chinese women (and men) would not be allowed to vote for another 33 years.

2011 - 2018

2002

2001

1990 / 1993

1971 / 1975

1965 / 1970

1964

1963 / 1964

1952 / 1957

1944 / 1945

1942 / 1943 / 1946

1922 / 1924

1920

WE THE PEOPLE

"We The People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquiity, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

VOTE MIDTERM 2018

YOUR VOICE MATTERS!

Presidential elections generally motivate far more eligible voters to turn out than do Midterm elections. However, Midterm election cycles are often as important, if not more so, than Presidential election cycles.
In Midterm election cycles, all 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, and 33-35 of the 100 seats in the U.S. Senate are up for election. In addition, numerous Governors and Mayors will be elected, as well as various state and local legislators, judges, DA's and other officials. Ballot initiatives that affect the taxes, laws and local and state budgets (funding priorities) will also be voted up or down.
Every person that is elected to a local, state or federal office, as well as many of their subsequent appointees or nominees, has the power to impact every aspect of your life and your family's and community's daily lives for years and decades to come.

NOTABLE QUOTES

"…The true way to abolish slavery is to vote such men into power who will exert their moral and political influence for the abolition of slavery."
_-Frederick Douglass _

"I am glad that men are getting their rights, but I want women to get theirs, and while the water is stirring I will step into the pool… I am for keeping the thing going while things are stirring. Because if we wait till it is still, it will take a great while to get it going again."
-Sojourner Truth, Comments after passage of the 15th Amendment

"We women of America tell you that America is not a democracy. Twenty million women are denied the right to vote."
_-Alice Paul, Suffragist _

"So long as I do not firmly and irrevocably possess the right to vote I cannot possess myself. I cannot make up my mind—it is made up for me. I cannot live as a democratic citizen…"
_-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. _

"Today is a triumph for freedom as huge as any victory that has ever been won on the battlefield."
_-President Lyndon B. Johnson, Remarks on the signing of the 1965 Voting Rights Act _

"I say from time to time that the vote is precious. It's almost sacred. It is the most powerful nonviolent tool or instrument that we have in a democratic society. And we must use it."
_-John Lewis _

"Democracy thrives when it (the right to vote) is practiced, and it suffers when practice is prevented."
_-John Payton, Former President/Counsel General NAACP LDF _

"There is only one motivation for imposing burdens on voting that are ostensibly designed to discourage voter-impersonation fraud, and that is to discourage persons likely to vote against the party responsible for imposing the burdens… (states’ voter ID laws are) a means of voter suppression rather than fraud prevention… a mere fig leaf to disenfranchise voters."
_-Judge Richard A. Posner, U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals _

"Voting, a fundamental right, should be made easier - not harder... When barriers hinder a population's ability to express its views, the complex system of checks and balances that the framers of our nation put in place to safeguard democracy will fail in their duty."
_-David Goodman, Brother of Andrew Goodman and President of The Andrew Goodman Foundation _

"Throwing out preclearance when it has worked and is continuing to work to stop discriminatory changes is like throwing away your umbrella because you are not getting wet."
_-Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, In Dissent: Shelby v. Holder (2013) _

"There is no Constitutional issue here. There is no moral issue. It is wrong, deadly wrong, to deny any of your fellow citizens the right to vote. There is no issue of States’ rights or National rights. There is only the struggle for human rights."
-President Lyndon B. Johnson, Remarks on the signing of the 1965 Voting Rights Act

MESSAGE

A FutherShore

“A truly informed populace sees and feels the living presence of the past, inherits the resolve and courage to confront; the wisdom and capacity to reconcile; and the 'fierce urgency' to re-imagine." -G.Moore

Contact: info@afurthershore.com

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