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Voting & Suffrage: History of Suffrage & Voting Rights

History

"The 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granted African American men the right to vote by declaring that the 'right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.' Although ratified on February 3, 1870, the promise of the 15th Amendment would not be fully realized for almost a century. Through the use of poll taxes, literacy tests and other means, Southern states were able to effectively disenfranchise African Americans. It would take the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 before the majority of African Americans in the South were registered to vote." (Source: Library of Congress)

"A women's suffrage amendment was first introduced in Congress in 1878. Forty-one years later, on June 4, 1919, Congress approved the women’s suffrage amendment and sent it to the states for ratification. The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granted women the right to vote and was ratified by the states on August 18, 1920." (Source: Library of Congress)

 The Voting Rights Act was "signed into law on August 6, 1965, by President Lyndon Johnson. It outlawed the discriminatory voting practices adopted in many southern states after the Civil War, including literacy tests as a prerequisite to voting." (Source: OurDocuments.gov)