Monday, October 03, 2016

Did you know?


Did you know that when George Washington was president, only white men who were landowners could vote? And did you know that at that time, 20% (or 1 in 5) of the total United States population were slaves.


In 1870, the 15th Amendment passed, declaring state and federal governments could not restrict voting based on race. But there would be many bumps in the road until that guarantee was enforced across all ethnic groups in all geographic areas. Some of the techniques used to deter non-whites from voting included poll taxes, literacy requirements, violence, intimidation, and declaring certain ethnic groups to be non-citizens or ineligible for citizenship.


It would take 50 more years to establish that women should also be provided with the right to vote in state and federal elections. The 19th Amendment was passed in 1920.

The SWC Library is hosting a display about Women's Suffrage, courtesy of the Women's Museum of California. Stop by to take in the history of four San Diego women who worked hard to achieve the right to vote for California women in state elections in 1911.


More recently, in 1971, the 26th Amendment was passed, which lowered the voting age from 21 to 18.

March for the right for 18-year-olds to vote, Seattle 1969.

Take a look at this Voting Rights Timeline (produced by NPR affiliate KQED) and see how voting rights continue to evolve today.

Not registered to vote yet? It's easy:

  Register to Vote


"American Presidents." (2016). University of Virginia Miller Center.

"U.S. Voting Rights Timeline." (2004). KQED: Public Media for Northern California. 

"Voting Rights." (2012). Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund. 





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