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High School



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 deemed “aliens ineligible for citizenship” and are denied the right to vote.  The state of New Jersey grants women the right to vote by using the term “he or she” in revision of voting laws.
1792 New Hampshire prohibits the property ownership requirement to vote, granting suffrage to poor white males.
1798 White male immigrants could register to vote after living in the United States for 14 years. In 1902, the residency requirement was reduced to 5 years.
1810 Religious affiliation is eliminated as a voting requirement.
1848 Literate, bilingual Mexican male property owners in the Southwest are granted U.S. citizenship and the right to vote.
1855 Connecticut is the first state to enact a literacy test requirement to vote.
1866 U.S. citizenship—but not suffrage—is granted to native-born Americans
1869 U.S. Congress passes the Fifteenth Amendment granting suffrage to African American men.  The state of Wyoming grants women the right to vote in all elections.
1882 The Chinese Exclusion Act denies U.S. citizenship and the right to vote to Chinese Americans. The act advances the right to vote to white males who had resided in the United States for two years.
1884 In the case of Elk v. Wilkins, the U.S.  Supreme Court denied 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 The number of African American citizens voting in Florida drops dramatically upon levying of a poll tax. In addition, Florida institutes the Eight Box Law—the use of eight unmarked ballot boxes—to sow confusion, allowing the arbitrary disposal of ballots.
1890 Native Americans are eligible to apply for citizenship with the passage of the Indian Naturalization Act.  

Numerous states enact literacy tests as a voting requirement. Not only Southern states enact this type of restriction. The tests also exclude uneducated whites from voting.

“Grandfather clause” laws, allowing only those citizens whose grandfathers had voted before 1870 the right to vote, are passed in several states.

1915 In Guinn v. United States, the United States Supreme Court deems unconstitutional the use of the “grandfather clause” to deny African American citizens the right to vote.
1920 On August 26, the necessary three-fourths of the states ratify the Nineteenth Amendment granting suffrage to women.
1922 The United States Supreme Court case, Takao Ozawa v. United States, denies U.S. citizenship to persons of Japanese descent, thus denying them the right to vote.
1923 The United States Supreme Court deems that high caste Hindus are recognized as Causasian, and may become naturalized U.S. citizens. (Bhagat Singh Thind v. United States)
1924 The Indian Citizenship Act gave 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.
1937 On December 6, the rights of African Americans suffer a setback when the U.S. Supreme Court decision upholds the state of Georgia’s right to levy poll taxes.
1940 Southern states record that only three percent of African American citizens are registered to vote.
1946 In, King v. Chapman, the U.S. Supreme Court finds that the state of Georgia’s “white primary only” practice is unconstitutional.
1947 South Carolina’s right to continue its white primary practice is declared unconstitutional by a federal court in the case Elmore v. Rice.
1952 The McCarran-Walter Act grants the right of U.S. citizenship 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.
1962 In the U. S. Supreme Court case, Baker v. Carr states are ordered to redraw district lines according to district population. Some states had drawn district lines that divided the African American voter population to assure white candidates’ victories in state 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 and assures the nation that African Americans will vigorously pursue their constitutional rights.
1964 The Twenty-fourth Amendment declares the use of poll taxes unconstitutional in presidential and congressional elections. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 passes. The Act declares that a person may not be discriminated against based on gender, religion, race, and nationality.
1965 On March 7, after crossing the Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, nonviolent civil rights protesters are attacked by police dogs, assaulted with fire hoses, and brutally beaten by police.

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.
1966 The U.S. Supreme Court finds in South Carolina v. Katzenbach that the Fifteenth Amendment gives Congress the right to prevent voting discrimination. The ruling further states that the Voting Rights Act of 1965 gives the federal government the right to use any means against actions that deny African Americans the right to vote. Edward Brooke from Massachusetts is the first African American elected to the U. S. Senate.
1968 Shirley Chisolm, from the state of New York, is the first African American woman elected to the U.S. Congress. Eight other African Americans are also elected.
1970 President Richard M. Nixon signs renewed provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Southern states with long histories of voter discrimination seek and receive approval from the U.S. Justice Department for any changes in their voting laws.
1971 Representative Charles Diggs Jr. of Michigan leads the formation of the Congressional Black Caucus to support a greater voice in public affairs for African Americans.

The Twenty-sixth Amendment grants 18-year-old Americans the right to vote.
1972 A Tennessee voting law requiring a one-year state residency and a three-month county residency is struck down by the U. S. Supreme Court. (Dunn v. Blumstein)

Barbara Jordan of Texas and Andrew Young from Georgia are the first African Americans from Southern states to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives since the 1870s.
1974 The United States Supreme Court grants states the right to deny convicted felons of their right to vote. (Richardson v. Ramirez)
1975 In the case, White v. Regester, the U. S. Supreme Court rules that voting district lines in the state of Texas are unconstitutional and had been drawn in an attempt to minimize minority voting power in certain districts.
1980 The U. S. Supreme Court determines that any racial discrimination occurring during the voting process must be proven by the discriminated voter. Minority groups deemed this decision as a major setback to their voting rights (City of Mobile v. Bolden),
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. The act states that a citizen may register to vote at any motor vehicle registration site, public buildings such as libraries and schools, and state agencies such as unemployment and welfare services offices.
2002 The Help America Vote Act provides funds to states to replace old and outdated voting machines and to improve the procedures of elections.
2006 The U. S. Supreme Court rules that a Texas plan to redraw voting districts is unconstitutional and violates the Voting Rights Act (League of United Latin American Citizens v. Perry).
2008 An Indiana law requiring that a government-issued photo identification card must be presented at polling sties is overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court (Crawford v. Marion County).
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. The act also allows voter registration cards and absentee ballots to be submitted electronically or by mail.

Sources

http://www.aclu.org/voting-rights/voting-rights-act-timeline
http://www.nypirg.org/edr/history.html http://www.educationdesigns.info/yahoo_site_admin/assets/docs/Voting_Rights_Timeline.41110835.pdf
www.supreme.justia.com
www.oyez.org/cases
www.supremecourt.gov/
www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/opinions.aspx
www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution.html
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,949120,00.html
www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/opinions.aspx

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Elementary

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 deemed “aliens ineligible for citizenship” and are denied the right to vote.  The state of New Jersey grants women the right to vote by using the term “he or she” in revision of voting laws.
1810 Religious affiliation is eliminated as a voting requirement.
1848 Literate, bilingual Mexican male property owners in the Southwest are granted U.S. citizenship and the right to vote.
1866 U.S. citizenship—but not suffrage—is granted to native-born Americans
1870 The Fifteenth Amendment—granting U.S. citizenship to African American men—is approved by three-fourths of the states.
1882 The Chinese Exclusion Act denies U.S. citizenship and the right to vote to Chinese Americans.
1884 United States Supreme Court handed down its verdict in the 
Elk v. Wilkins case. The Court’s ruling denied 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.

Florida institutes the Eight Box Law—the use of eight unmarked ballot boxes—to sow confusion, allowing the arbitrary disposal of ballots.
1890 Native Americans were 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.

“Grandfather clause” laws, allowing only those citizens whose grandfathers had voted before 1870 the right to vote, are passed in several states.
1915 In Guinn v. United States, the United States Supreme Court deems unconstitutional the use of the “grandfather clause” to deny African American citizens the right to vote.
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 (Takao Ozawa v. United States).
1924 The Indian Citizenship Act gave 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 McCarran-Walter Act grants the right of U.S. citizenship 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 and assures the nation that African Americans will vigorously pursue their constitutional rights.
1964 The Twenty-fourth Amendment declares the use of poll taxes unconstitutional in presidential and congressional elections. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 passes. The Act declares that a person may not be discriminated against based on gender, religion, race, and nationality.
1965 On March 7, after crossing the Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, nonviolent civil rights protesters are attacked by police dogs, assaulted with fire hoses, and brutally beaten by police.

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 (Richardson v. Ramirez).
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. The act states that a citizen may register to vote at any motor vehicle registration site, public buildings such as libraries and schools, and state agencies such as unemployment and welfare services offices.
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. The act also allows voter registration cards and absentee ballots to be submitted electronically or by mail.

Sources

http://www.aclu.org/voting-rights/voting-rights-act-timeline
http://www.nypirg.org/edr/history.html http://www.educationdesigns.info/yahoo_site_admin/assets/docs/Voting_Rights_Timeline.41110835.pdf
www.supreme.justia.com
www.oyez.org/cases
www.supremecourt.gov/
www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/opinions.aspx
www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution.html
http://www.aclu.org/voting-rights/voting-rights-act-timeline