Your response for this assignment should be at least 500 words long.

I. The Struggle for the Right to Vote A. Important Considerations 1. States have power to decide who votes Article I, Section 2 – “The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several states, and the electors in each state shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the state legislature.” Article I, Section 3 – “The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Sena tors from each state, chosen by the legislature thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote.” 17 th Amendment (1913) – “The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each state, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each state shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the state legislatures.” Article II, Section 3 – “Each state shall appoint, in such manner as t he Legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or person holding an office of trust or profit under th e United States, shall be appointed an elector.” 2. No Absolute Constitutional Right to Vote Although opportunities to disenfranchise portions of the population have been narrowed over time, there is no absolute constitutional right to vote. 3. Extend ing the Franchise Involves Conflict B. Restricting the Vote 1. Early Income, Property, Religion and Good Character Restrictions A. Gradual expansion driven, in part, by strategic political calculations and popular demand. By about 1850, most of these early barriers were overturned and most white men with residency could vote. **Thomas Dorr led a rebellion in Rhode Island (1842) to take the franchise by force.** 2. Post Civil War Environment 15 th Amendment (1870) – the right of citizens to vote shall not be denied on account of race, color or previous condition of servitude. A. National Movement to Limit the Franchise – In the South, the efforts were designed to restrict black participation. In the North and West, they hoped to reduce participation among the poor, less -educated, immigrant, and working -class populations. Literacy Tests Implicit – South Carolina used a system (est. in 1882) where votes for different offices had to be placed in different boxes. If the ballot was placed in the wrong box, it would not be counted. Explicit – many states designed tests to restrict access. Most we re not designed to measure literacy. Used throughout the country. Voting Rights Act of 1965 and Amendments in 1970 – effectively banned the use of literacy tests. Poll Tax – by 1904, all of the Solid South had such tax. In four states, it was cumulati ve – so you would have to pay back taxes before casting a ballot. 24 th Amendment (1964) – The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice Presiden t, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay poll tax or other tax. White Primaries – overturned in 1944. Registration Requirements were embraced through out the country. These shifted the burden from the state to the individual. Overtime, systems became even more restrictive in where, when, and how one was to register. Periodic purges of registration lists pushed even more from the rolls. Piven and Cloward – “Inevitably, over the long run, these informal barriers tended to exclude those who were less educated and less self -confident, and in any case were often administered so as to secure that effect.” Felon Disenfranchisement – by the end of the 19 th century, many states used such laws to limit voting. States often passed such laws with an eye toward certain populations. (You can visit http://www.soc.umn.edu/~uggen/felon_disenfranchisement.htm for more information about felon disenfranchisement laws in the United States.) Violence and Terro r was often used to discourage or prevent votes from being cast. Finally, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 made it a federal crime to use intimidation, coercion or force to prevent someone from voting. 3. Women and Suffrage Early Suffrage for Women in the West – Wyoming (1890), Colorado (1893), Utah (1896), Idaho (1896), Washington (1910), California (1911), Oregon (1912), Kansas (1912), Arizona (1912), Montana (1914), Nevada (1914), South Dakota (1918), and Oklahoma (1918). 19 th Amendment (1920) – “The right of the citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United S tates or by any State on account of sex.” 4. Citizens of D.C. – no voting representation in Congress. 23 rd amendment (1961) allows D.C. to participate in presidential elections. They get the minimum number of electoral votes (3) that a state might rec eive. 5. Voting Age – 26 th amendment (1971) lowers the voting age to 18.

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