Suffrage on the ballot

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Suffrage on the ballot: This subtopic refers to ballot measures regarding voting rights. It is a subcategory of civil rights and elections and campaigns.


Ballot measures lists

[edit]

Arizona

  1. Arizona Congressional Vacancy Elections Amendment, Proposition 101 (1962)
  2. Arizona Only Property Taxpayers Can Vote on Bond Issues, Proposition 2 (1930)
  3. Arizona Suffrage and Right to Hold Office for Women Amendment, Questions 300 and 301 (1912)
  4. Arizona Voter Registration by Driver's License Statute, Proposition 202 (1982)
  5. Arizona Voting Requirements Amendment, Proposition 102 (1962)

California

  1. California Proposition 4, Women's Suffrage (October 1911)

Colorado

  1. Colorado Property Tax Payer Requirement to Vote on School Bonded Indebtedness, Measure 2 (1928)
  2. Colorado Voter Qualifications for Elections, Measure 4 (1962)
  3. Colorado Voting Age and Residency Requirements Reduction, Measure 4 (1970)
  4. Colorado Voting Residency Requirements, Measure 5 (1970)

Connecticut

  1. Connecticut Qualifications of Electors, Question 3 (1970)

Florida

  1. Florida 18 Year Old Voting, Amendment 1 (1970)
  2. Florida Absentee Voter Registration, Amendment 2 (1960)
  3. Florida Suffrage and Eligibility, Amendment 2 (1968)
  4. Florida Voting Eligibility, Amendment 2 (October 1894)
  5. Florida Voting Eligibility, Amendment 3 (1916)
  6. Florida Voting Rights in Presidential Elections, Amendment 3 (1966)

Idaho

  1. Idaho Indian Right to Vote, HJR 2 (1950)
  2. Idaho Lower Voting Age, SJR 3 (1960)
  3. Idaho Remove Voter Disqualification, HJR 7 (1982)
  4. Idaho Remove Voting Age and Residency Requirements, HJR 14 (1982)
  5. Idaho Women's Right to Suffrage, SJR 2 (1896)

Illinois

  1. Illinois Right to Vote Amendment (2014)

Kentucky

  1. Kentucky Voting Rights Referendum (1955)

Maine

  1. Maine Absentee Voting, Amendment No. 1 (1921)
  2. Maine Allow Persons with Mental Illness to Vote, Question 5 (2000)
  3. Maine Elimination of Pauper Voting Restrictions, Proposed Constitutional Amendment No. 1 (1965)
  4. Maine Elimination of Residency Requirement for Intrastate Moves, Proposed Constitutional Amendment No. 1 (1974)
  5. Maine Literacy Test Repeal, Proposed Constitutional Amendment (1979)
  6. Maine Repeal Mentally Ill Under Guardianship Voting Limitation, Question 5 (1997)
  7. Maine Repeal of Poll Tax and Military Service Exemption, Proposed Constitutional Amendment No. 2 (1978)
  8. Maine Residence for Suffrage Purposes, Amendment No. 2 (1919)
  9. Maine Suffrage for Native Americans, Proposed Constitutional Amendment No. 2 (1954)
  10. Maine Voter Residence Qualification, Amendment No. 1 (1935)
  11. Maine Voter Residence Qualification, Proposed Amendment to the Constitution (1938)
  12. Maine Voting Age Requirement of 18, Proposed Constitutional Amendment No. 1 (1971)
  13. Maine Voting Age Requirement of 20, Proposed Constitutional Amendment No. 1 (1970)
  14. Maine Women's Suffrage, Proposed Amendment No. 1 (1917)
  15. Maine Women's Suffrage for Presidential Electors, Referendum (1920)

Maryland

  1. Maryland Delete Obsolete Language of Citizens Allowed to Vote, Question 14 (1972)
  2. Maryland Elective Franchise, Amendment 1 (1905)
  3. Maryland Elective Franchise, Amendment 1 (1909)
  4. Maryland Restriction of Right to Vote, Question 5 (1972)
  5. Maryland Vote Selling Penalties, Amendment 4 (1913)
  6. Maryland Voter Requirements, Amendment 3 (1809)
  7. Maryland Voting Requirements, Amendment 1 (1801)

Massachusetts

  1. Massachusetts Absentee Voting for Religious Reasons, Question 3 (1976)
  2. Massachusetts Paupers to Vote, Question 3 (1972)
  3. Massachusetts Voting Age of 18, Question 2 (1972)
  4. Massachusetts Voting Age of 19, Question 3 (1970)

Minnesota

  1. Minnesota Clarify Voting Requirements, Amendment 3 (1952)
  2. Minnesota Prohibit Aliens from Voting, Amendment 2 (1896)
  3. Minnesota Right to Vote, Amendment 1 (1865)
  4. Minnesota Right to Vote, Amendment 1 (1867)
  5. Minnesota Right to Vote, Amendment 1 (1868)
  6. Minnesota Suffrage for Local Option Elections, Amendment 4 (1877)
  7. Minnesota Suffrage in School Affairs, Amendment 2 (1875)
  8. Minnesota Women Vote for Library Boards, Amendment 1 (1898)

Missouri

  1. Missouri Suffrage Amendment, Issue 13 (1914)
  2. Missouri Suffrage Amendment, Issue 2 (1922)
  3. Missouri Voting Age, Amendment 1 (1974)

Montana

  1. Montana Change Voting Age, Amendment 3 (1970)
  2. Montana Late Voter Registration Revision Measure, LR-126 (2014)
  3. Montana Voting Age, Amendment 1 (1972)
  4. Montana Voting Qualifications, Amendment 1 (1896)
  5. Montana Women's Suffrage, Amendment 1 (1914)

New Jersey

  1. New Jersey Public Question Four (2007)

North Carolina

  1. North Carolina Qualifications for Suffrage and Office Amendment (August 1900)

North Dakota

  1. North Dakota Abolish Absent Ballot Initiative (1936)
  2. North Dakota Election Law Revision Referendum, Measure 8 (1980)
  3. North Dakota Elective Franchise Referendum, Amendment 2 (1978)
  4. North Dakota Lowering Voting Age Referendum, Number 4 (1968)
  5. North Dakota New Residents Presidential Voting Referendum, Number 2 (1966)
  6. North Dakota Relating to Elective Franchise, Referendum 2 (1958)
  7. North Dakota Women's Suffrage Referendum (1914)

Ohio

  1. Ohio "White" Omission, Amendment 24 (September 1912)
  2. Ohio 30-Day Voter Eligibility, Issue 1 (1977)
  3. Ohio Eligibility of Women for Appointment to Commissions, Proposed Amendment 4 (1913)
  4. Ohio Issue 2, No-Excuse Absentee Voting Act (2005)
  5. Ohio Issue 2, Voter Residency Requirement (1970)
  6. Ohio Lower Voting Age to 19, Issue 1 (1969)
  7. Ohio Poll Tax, Amendment 3 (1921)
  8. Ohio Qualifications for Casting a Presidential Vote, Issue 2 (1957)
  9. Ohio Referred Issue 4, Qualifications of Electors (June 1976)
  10. Ohio Right of Women to Vote for President, Reynolds Act Veto Referendum (1917)
  11. Ohio Suffrage, Amendment 2 (1923)
  12. Ohio Woman's Suffrage, Amendment 23 (September 1912)
  13. Ohio Women's Suffrage, Amendment 3 (1914)

Oklahoma

  1. Oklahoma Education Qualifications to Vote, State Question 17 (August 1910)
  2. Oklahoma Qualifications for Electors, State Question 82 (August 1916)
  3. Oklahoma Qualifications of Electors, State Question 503 (August 1974)
  4. Oklahoma Voting Age, State Question 356 (1952)
  5. Oklahoma Voting Age, State Question 484
  6. Oklahoma Women's Right to Vote, State Question 517 (1976)
  7. Oklahoma Women's Right to Vote, State Question 97 (1918)
  8. Oklahoma Women's Suffrage, State Question 8 (1910)

Oregon

  1. Oregon American Citizenship Required to Vote, Measure 1 (1914)
  2. Oregon Compulsory Voting and Registration, Measure 1 (1920)
  3. Oregon Literacy Requirement and Voting Age, Measure 1 (May 1972)
  4. Oregon Qualifications to Vote in School Elections, Measure 5 (1948)
  5. Oregon State Voter Qualifications Conform with Federal Qualifications, Measure 10 (1974)
  6. Oregon Suffrage for "Idiots" and Criminals, Measure 4 (1942)
  7. Oregon Suffrage for "Mentally Handicapped", Measure 2 (1980)
  8. Oregon Suffrage for "Negro and Mulatto" Persons, Measure 3 (1916)
  9. Oregon Suffrage for "Negroes, Chinamen and Mulattoes", Measure 1 (June 1927)
  10. Oregon Suffrage for Women, Measure 1 (1912)
  11. Oregon Suffrage for Women, Measure 2 (June 1906)
  12. Oregon Suffrage for Women, Measure 9 (June 1908)
  13. Oregon Suffrage for Women Taxpayers, Measure 1 (1910)
  14. Oregon Taxpayer Voting Qualifications, Measure 1 (1932)
  15. Oregon Voter Qualifications for Presidential Elections, Measure 7 (1960)
  16. Oregon Voters' Literacy Requirement, Measure 1 (1924)
  17. Oregon Voting Age for School District Elections, Measure 8 (1974)
  18. Oregon Voting Age of 19, Measure 5 (May 1970)
  19. Oregon Voting Rights Forfeiture by Criminals, Measure 4 (1944)

South Dakota

  1. South Dakota Change the Voting Age, Amendment B (1994)
  2. South Dakota Native American Suffrage (1890)
  3. South Dakota Right of Suffrage, Amendment B (1974)
  4. South Dakota Voting Age, Amendment A (1972)
  5. South Dakota Voting Age, Amendment F (1970)
  6. South Dakota Voting Age (1952)
  7. South Dakota Voting Age (1958)
  8. South Dakota Woman's Suffrage (1890)
  9. South Dakota Women's Suffrage (1898)
  10. South Dakota Women's Suffrage (1910)
  11. South Dakota Women's Suffrage (1914)
  12. South Dakota Women's Suffrage (1916)
  13. South Dakota Women's Suffrage (1918)
  14. South Dakota Women's Suffrage in School Elections (1894)

Vermont

  1. Vermont Suffrage for Women Amendment (1924)

Washington

  1. Washington Durational Residency Requirement, SJR 143 (1974)
  2. Washington Primary Nominations and Registration, Referendum 14 (1922)
  3. Washington Qualification of Voters for Indebtedness, Amendment to Article VI Sec. 1 (1916)
  4. Washington Repeal of Poll Tax, Initiative 40 (1922)
  5. Washington Voter Qualifications for Presidential Elections, HJR 4 (1966)
  6. Washington Voter Registration by Mail, Referendum 39 (1977)
  7. Washington Voting Age of 19, HJR 6 (1970)
  8. Washington Women's Right to Vote, Amendment to Article VI, Sec. 9 (1898)
  9. Washington Women's Right to Vote, Amendment to Article VI Sec. 1 (1910)

Wisconsin

  1. Wisconsin Deletion of Obsolete Provision Amendment, Question 3 (April 1986)
  2. Wisconsin Dueling and Disenfranchisement Amendment, Question 4 (April 1975)
  3. Wisconsin Equal Suffrage Referendum, Question 1 (1849)
  4. Wisconsin Equal Suffrage Referendum, Question 2 (1847)
  5. Wisconsin Overseas Voting Rights, Question 2 (1978)
  6. Wisconsin Presidential Voting Rights, Question 1 (1978)
  7. Wisconsin Public Inland Lake Protection and Rehabilitation Districts Voting Rights, Question 1 (1980)
  8. Wisconsin Residency Requirement for Voter Registration, Question 1 (1966)
  9. Wisconsin Residency Requirement for Voter Registration, Question 1 (1976)
  10. Wisconsin Suffrage Definition Amendment, Question 1 (April 1986)
  11. Wisconsin Suffrage for African Americans Referendum, Question 1 (1857)
  12. Wisconsin Suffrage for African Americans Referendum, Question 1 (1865)
  13. Wisconsin Suffrage for Full Citizens Only Amendment, Question 4 (1908)
  14. Wisconsin Voter Requirements Amendment, Question 1 (1882)
  15. Wisconsin Voting Eligibility, Question 1 (1954)
  16. Wisconsin Voting Rights for Children of U.S. Citizens Living Abroad, Question 1 (2000)
  17. Wisconsin Voting Rights for Former Residents, Question 3 (1962)
  18. Wisconsin Women's Suffrage Amendment, Question 1 (1934)
  19. Wisconsin Women's Suffrage Referendum, Question 4 (1912)
  20. Wisconsin Women Suffrage in School Matters Referendum, Question 1 (1886)

Wyoming

  1. Wyoming Suffrage Not Based on Mental Status, Amendment B (1996)

2014

  1. Illinois Right to Vote Amendment (2014)
  2. Montana Late Voter Registration Revision Measure, LR-126 (2014)

2007

  1. New Jersey Public Question Four (2007)

2005

  1. Ohio Issue 2, No-Excuse Absentee Voting Act (2005)

2000

  1. Maine Allow Persons with Mental Illness to Vote, Question 5 (2000)
  2. Wisconsin Voting Rights for Children of U.S. Citizens Living Abroad, Question 1 (2000)

1997

  1. Maine Repeal Mentally Ill Under Guardianship Voting Limitation, Question 5 (1997)

1996

  1. Wyoming Suffrage Not Based on Mental Status, Amendment B (1996)

1994

  1. South Dakota Change the Voting Age, Amendment B (1994)

1986

  1. Wisconsin Deletion of Obsolete Provision Amendment, Question 3 (April 1986)
  2. Wisconsin Suffrage Definition Amendment, Question 1 (April 1986)

1982

  1. Arizona Voter Registration by Driver's License Statute, Proposition 202 (1982)
  2. Idaho Remove Voter Disqualification, HJR 7 (1982)
  3. Idaho Remove Voting Age and Residency Requirements, HJR 14 (1982)

1980

  1. North Dakota Election Law Revision Referendum, Measure 8 (1980)
  2. Oregon Suffrage for "Mentally Handicapped", Measure 2 (1980)
  3. Wisconsin Public Inland Lake Protection and Rehabilitation Districts Voting Rights, Question 1 (1980)

1979

  1. Maine Literacy Test Repeal, Proposed Constitutional Amendment (1979)

1978

  1. Maine Repeal of Poll Tax and Military Service Exemption, Proposed Constitutional Amendment No. 2 (1978)
  2. North Dakota Elective Franchise Referendum, Amendment 2 (1978)
  3. Wisconsin Overseas Voting Rights, Question 2 (1978)
  4. Wisconsin Presidential Voting Rights, Question 1 (1978)

1977

  1. Washington Voter Registration by Mail, Referendum 39 (1977)

1976

  1. Massachusetts Absentee Voting for Religious Reasons, Question 3 (1976)
  2. Ohio Referred Issue 4, Qualifications of Electors (June 1976)
  3. Oklahoma Women's Right to Vote, State Question 517 (1976)
  4. Wisconsin Residency Requirement for Voter Registration, Question 1 (1976)

1975

  1. Wisconsin Dueling and Disenfranchisement Amendment, Question 4 (April 1975)

1974

  1. Maine Elimination of Residency Requirement for Intrastate Moves, Proposed Constitutional Amendment No. 1 (1974)
  2. Missouri Voting Age, Amendment 1 (1974)
  3. Oklahoma Qualifications of Electors, State Question 503 (August 1974)
  4. Oregon State Voter Qualifications Conform with Federal Qualifications, Measure 10 (1974)
  5. Oregon Voting Age for School District Elections, Measure 8 (1974)
  6. South Dakota Right of Suffrage, Amendment B (1974)
  7. Washington Durational Residency Requirement, SJR 143 (1974)

1972

  1. Maryland Delete Obsolete Language of Citizens Allowed to Vote, Question 14 (1972)
  2. Maryland Restriction of Right to Vote, Question 5 (1972)
  3. Massachusetts Paupers to Vote, Question 3 (1972)
  4. Massachusetts Voting Age of 18, Question 2 (1972)
  5. Montana Voting Age, Amendment 1 (1972)
  6. Oregon Literacy Requirement and Voting Age, Measure 1 (May 1972)
  7. South Dakota Voting Age, Amendment A (1972)

1971

  1. Maine Voting Age Requirement of 18, Proposed Constitutional Amendment No. 1 (1971)
  2. Oklahoma Voting Age, State Question 484

1970

  1. Colorado Voting Age and Residency Requirements Reduction, Measure 4 (1970)
  2. Colorado Voting Residency Requirements, Measure 5 (1970)
  3. Connecticut Qualifications of Electors, Question 3 (1970)
  4. Florida 18 Year Old Voting, Amendment 1 (1970)
  5. Maine Voting Age Requirement of 20, Proposed Constitutional Amendment No. 1 (1970)
  6. Massachusetts Voting Age of 19, Question 3 (1970)
  7. Montana Change Voting Age, Amendment 3 (1970)
  8. Ohio Issue 2, Voter Residency Requirement (1970)
  9. Oregon Voting Age of 19, Measure 5 (May 1970)
  10. South Dakota Voting Age, Amendment F (1970)
  11. Washington Voting Age of 19, HJR 6 (1970)

1969

  1. Ohio Lower Voting Age to 19, Issue 1 (1969)

1968

  1. Florida Suffrage and Eligibility, Amendment 2 (1968)
  2. North Dakota Lowering Voting Age Referendum, Number 4 (1968)

1966

  1. Florida Voting Rights in Presidential Elections, Amendment 3 (1966)
  2. North Dakota New Residents Presidential Voting Referendum, Number 2 (1966)
  3. Washington Voter Qualifications for Presidential Elections, HJR 4 (1966)
  4. Wisconsin Residency Requirement for Voter Registration, Question 1 (1966)

1965

  1. Maine Elimination of Pauper Voting Restrictions, Proposed Constitutional Amendment No. 1 (1965)

1962

  1. Arizona Congressional Vacancy Elections Amendment, Proposition 101 (1962)
  2. Arizona Voting Requirements Amendment, Proposition 102 (1962)
  3. Colorado Voter Qualifications for Elections, Measure 4 (1962)
  4. Wisconsin Voting Rights for Former Residents, Question 3 (1962)

1960

  1. Florida Absentee Voter Registration, Amendment 2 (1960)
  2. Idaho Lower Voting Age, SJR 3 (1960)
  3. Oregon Voter Qualifications for Presidential Elections, Measure 7 (1960)

1958

  1. North Dakota Relating to Elective Franchise, Referendum 2 (1958)
  2. South Dakota Voting Age (1958)

1957

  1. Ohio Qualifications for Casting a Presidential Vote, Issue 2 (1957)

1955

  1. Kentucky Voting Rights Referendum (1955)

1954

  1. Maine Suffrage for Native Americans, Proposed Constitutional Amendment No. 2 (1954)
  2. Wisconsin Voting Eligibility, Question 1 (1954)

1952

  1. Minnesota Clarify Voting Requirements, Amendment 3 (1952)
  2. Oklahoma Voting Age, State Question 356 (1952)
  3. South Dakota Voting Age (1952)

1950

  1. Idaho Indian Right to Vote, HJR 2 (1950)

1948

  1. Oregon Qualifications to Vote in School Elections, Measure 5 (1948)

1944

  1. Oregon Voting Rights Forfeiture by Criminals, Measure 4 (1944)

1942

  1. Oregon Suffrage for "Idiots" and Criminals, Measure 4 (1942)

1938

  1. Maine Voter Residence Qualification, Proposed Amendment to the Constitution (1938)

1936

  1. North Dakota Abolish Absent Ballot Initiative (1936)

1935

  1. Maine Voter Residence Qualification, Amendment No. 1 (1935)

1934

  1. Wisconsin Women's Suffrage Amendment, Question 1 (1934)

1932

  1. Oregon Taxpayer Voting Qualifications, Measure 1 (1932)

1930

  1. Arizona Only Property Taxpayers Can Vote on Bond Issues, Proposition 2 (1930)

1928

  1. Colorado Property Tax Payer Requirement to Vote on School Bonded Indebtedness, Measure 2 (1928)

1927

  1. Oregon Suffrage for "Negroes, Chinamen and Mulattoes", Measure 1 (June 1927)

1924

  1. Oregon Voters' Literacy Requirement, Measure 1 (1924)
  2. Vermont Suffrage for Women Amendment (1924)

1923

  1. Ohio Suffrage, Amendment 2 (1923)

1922

  1. Missouri Suffrage Amendment, Issue 2 (1922)
  2. Washington Primary Nominations and Registration, Referendum 14 (1922)
  3. Washington Repeal of Poll Tax, Initiative 40 (1922)

1921

  1. Maine Absentee Voting, Amendment No. 1 (1921)
  2. Ohio Poll Tax, Amendment 3 (1921)

1920

  1. Maine Women's Suffrage for Presidential Electors, Referendum (1920)
  2. Oregon Compulsory Voting and Registration, Measure 1 (1920)

1919

  1. Maine Residence for Suffrage Purposes, Amendment No. 2 (1919)

1918

  1. Oklahoma Women's Right to Vote, State Question 97 (1918)
  2. South Dakota Women's Suffrage (1918)

1917

  1. Maine Women's Suffrage, Proposed Amendment No. 1 (1917)
  2. Ohio Right of Women to Vote for President, Reynolds Act Veto Referendum (1917)

1916

  1. Florida Voting Eligibility, Amendment 3 (1916)
  2. Oklahoma Qualifications for Electors, State Question 82 (August 1916)
  3. Oregon Suffrage for "Negro and Mulatto" Persons, Measure 3 (1916)
  4. South Dakota Women's Suffrage (1916)
  5. Washington Qualification of Voters for Indebtedness, Amendment to Article VI Sec. 1 (1916)

1914

  1. Missouri Suffrage Amendment, Issue 13 (1914)
  2. Montana Women's Suffrage, Amendment 1 (1914)
  3. North Dakota Women's Suffrage Referendum (1914)
  4. Ohio Women's Suffrage, Amendment 3 (1914)
  5. Oregon American Citizenship Required to Vote, Measure 1 (1914)
  6. South Dakota Women's Suffrage (1914)

1913

  1. Maryland Vote Selling Penalties, Amendment 4 (1913)
  2. Ohio Eligibility of Women for Appointment to Commissions, Proposed Amendment 4 (1913)

1912

  1. Arizona Suffrage and Right to Hold Office for Women Amendment, Questions 300 and 301 (1912)
  2. Ohio "White" Omission, Amendment 24 (September 1912)
  3. Ohio Woman's Suffrage, Amendment 23 (September 1912)
  4. Oregon Suffrage for Women, Measure 1 (1912)
  5. Wisconsin Women's Suffrage Referendum, Question 4 (1912)

1911

  1. California Proposition 4, Women's Suffrage (October 1911)

1910

  1. Oklahoma Education Qualifications to Vote, State Question 17 (August 1910)
  2. Oklahoma Women's Suffrage, State Question 8 (1910)
  3. Oregon Suffrage for Women Taxpayers, Measure 1 (1910)
  4. South Dakota Women's Suffrage (1910)
  5. Washington Women's Right to Vote, Amendment to Article VI Sec. 1 (1910)

1909

  1. Maryland Elective Franchise, Amendment 1 (1909)

1908

  1. Oregon Suffrage for Women, Measure 9 (June 1908)
  2. Wisconsin Suffrage for Full Citizens Only Amendment, Question 4 (1908)

1906

  1. Oregon Suffrage for Women, Measure 2 (June 1906)

1905

  1. Maryland Elective Franchise, Amendment 1 (1905)

1900

  1. North Carolina Qualifications for Suffrage and Office Amendment (August 1900)

Before 1900

  1. Florida Voting Eligibility, Amendment 2 (October 1894)
  2. Idaho Women's Right to Suffrage, SJR 2 (1896)
  3. Maryland Voter Requirements, Amendment 3 (1809)
  4. Maryland Voting Requirements, Amendment 1 (1801)
  5. Minnesota Prohibit Aliens from Voting, Amendment 2 (1896)
  6. Minnesota Right to Vote, Amendment 1 (1865)
  7. Minnesota Right to Vote, Amendment 1 (1867)
  8. Minnesota Right to Vote, Amendment 1 (1868)
  9. Minnesota Suffrage for Local Option Elections, Amendment 4 (1877)
  10. Minnesota Suffrage in School Affairs, Amendment 2 (1875)
  11. Minnesota Women Vote for Library Boards, Amendment 1 (1898)
  12. Montana Voting Qualifications, Amendment 1 (1896)
  13. South Dakota Native American Suffrage (1890)
  14. South Dakota Woman's Suffrage (1890)
  15. South Dakota Women's Suffrage (1898)
  16. South Dakota Women's Suffrage in School Elections (1894)
  17. Washington Women's Right to Vote, Amendment to Article VI, Sec. 9 (1898)
  18. Wisconsin Equal Suffrage Referendum, Question 1 (1849)
  19. Wisconsin Equal Suffrage Referendum, Question 2 (1847)
  20. Wisconsin Suffrage for African Americans Referendum, Question 1 (1857)
  21. Wisconsin Suffrage for African Americans Referendum, Question 1 (1865)
  22. Wisconsin Voter Requirements Amendment, Question 1 (1882)
  23. Wisconsin Women Suffrage in School Matters Referendum, Question 1 (1886)

Voting on Suffrage
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Ballot Measures
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Suffrage on the ballot

Suffrage ballot initiatives are geared towards expanding voting rights to whoever is barred from doing so. Historically, the suffrage movements of women and African-Americans have received the most attention from the public. In the United States, however, comprehensive voting rights (which some argue still do not exist) have been achieved incrementally over nearly 240 years, with provisions and amendments either attempted or made to extend rights to those who do not own property, Native-Americans, the lower-middle class, and even current residents of Washington D.C.

History of suffrage reform

While one would imagine a standard history of voting reform in the United States would begin with the qualifications in the Constitution and go from there, the Constitution and the various state constitutions after the federal ratification had a part in enfranchising previously ineligible citizens. Many colonies, even after the Declaration of Independence, had religious qualifications to have the opportunity to vote. In most, Jews, Quakers and/or Catholics were excluded from voting or running in elections, with Protestantism being the requisite faith to participate[1] For example, the 1778 constitution of South Carolina states that "No person shall be eligible to sit in the house of representatives unless he be of the Protestant religion,"[2] The 1777 constitution of Georgia has nearly exactly the same wording over the issue, saying that "The representatives shall be chosen out of the residents in each county...and they shall be of the Protestant religion."[3] The ratification of the United States Constitution in 1787 effectively did away with most faith-based restrictions on, with Article Six stating unequivocally "No religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States." Because voting itself was left up to the individual states, religion as a means to determine voting rights was not completely phased out until 1810.[4]

The next major component of voting restrictions that began to be reformed were property qualifications. Before and after 1787, Delaware expected voters to own fifty acres of land and/or property worth forty pounds; Rhode Island set the cutoff point at property worth forty pounds or an annual rent of two pounds, almost identical to Connecticut's.[5] Such requirements reflected the belief that property owners had a vested interest in the community's success and had demonstrated they were active and responsible members of society; as such, they and they alone should have the privilege to participate in civic affairs.During this time, however, dedication to this policy ebbed and its validity came under attack. Property restrictions gradually disappeared, and even tax-paying requirements waned after the 1820s.[5]

The next breakthrough to be made in voting rights did not happen until after the Civil War and constitutes only a small part of an issue that has lasted about as long as the United States has existed, that of African-American enfranchisement. Political opposition to slavery began in the north during the 1820s, eventually coalescing in organizations such as the American Anti-Slavery Society, formed in 1833. As the abolitionist movement grew in import between then and the Civil War, the other major suffrage movement to spill over into the twentieth century, regarding women, started to take hold. in 1848, the first Women's Rights Convention is held, demanding among other things the right to vote.[6]

The animosity between pro and anti-slavery advocates came to a head in the Civil War, after which there was a series of amendments made to bolster the Emancipation Proclamation, forcing states, particularly in the south, to comply with the freeing of slaves. Only a few years after the Thirteenth Amendment guaranteed the permanent abolition of slavery, Congress passed the Fourteenth Amendment, which granted citizenship to all those born within the United States notwithstanding their race. The amendment overruled the previously adhered to Naturalization Act of 1790, which limited naturalization to "free white persons," leaving out slaves, free blacks and later Asians.[7] Despite the amendment, and the seemingly natural consequence of blacks now being able to vote, many continued to harass and abuse those who tried to exercise their rights. Especially in the south, many whites started to try and limit the ability of freedmen to vote. Groups like the Ku Klux Klan used violence and intimidation to discourage freed slaves to even try and vote. The Fifteenth Amendment was passed in 1870, and said outright that the rights of citizens to vote will not be withheld based on race or any previous condition of servitude.[8] Even with this, there was a continued rise in disruptive and violent groups, even more organized than the KKK, that worked to derail Republican organizing, keep Republicans out of office and intimidate or even kill blacks to suppress their votes. Arguably the most important piece of legislation, however, comes in 1965 with the passage of the Voting Rights Act

In the 1890s, a new string of legislatively supported forms of discrimination were established. In addition to simply terrorizing blacks trying to vote, things such as literacy tests and poll taxes were instituted as prerequisites to voting for anyone. Literacy tests required you to do things like read out loud a section of the Constitution, sometimes by heart and accompanied by an interpretation, to the registrar's satisfaction, as well as answer written questions on U.S. history and democratic procedure.[9] Poll taxes more directly disenfranchised blacks, in that most Southern states enacted poll tax laws accompanied with a grandfather clause that allowed any adult whose grandfather voted prior to abolition to waive the tax. As all blacks before that point weren't even citizens, the clause did nothing to help them.

In the early twentieth century, African-Americans began bringing legal challenges forward questioning the constitutionality of such restrictions, a movement that led to the establishment of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). It can be said that some progress was made during this time; the Supreme Court case Guinn v. United States of 1944 ruled that grandfather clauses in literacy requirements were in conflict with the Fifteenth Amendment, and so such requirements were struck down.[10] General prejudice still flourished, however, and it was not until the major portion of the Civil Rights Movement that substantial change was enacted. In 1964, the Twenty-fourth amendment was ratified, outlawing poll taxes as a condition of voter registration and voting in federal elections.

The most important piece of legislation of the decade regarding voting rights, however, came a year later with the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Trying to bolster both the Fifteenth and Twenty-fourth Amendment, the act prohibited states from imposing any "voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice or procedure...to deny or abridge the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color."[11] In addition to strengthening the previous illegalization of poll taxes, it also banned the use of literacy tests and required fluency in English to determine voter eligibility. One of the more controversial provisions of the bill was the requirement of certain states (almost all Southern) with a history of discriminatory practices to obtain approval from the Department of Justice to make any change affecting the voting procedure. A jurisdiction that seeks to obtain "preclearance," as it is called, for the change must demonstrate that doing so will not have the effect of discriminating based on race or proficiency in English. Such standards applied to states which in 1964 had used some method to limit voting and had less than fifty percent of the population registered to vote, and still continues to affect many states today, a continued source of debate and controversy.[11]

The movement towards female suffrage was very much a parallel initiative to that of African-Americans through the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. While small organizations would spring up and call for a female suffrage movement before the Civil War, little was heard of the movement on a national scale. But in 1869, the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) was formed by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Their goal was the creation of an amendment guaranteeing their right to vote, and they went as far as to oppose the ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment until it included gender, along with race, as illegitimate grounds for denying suffrage. The group later merged with another prominent female rights group in 1890 to form the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA), which served as the dominant woman's rights organization until the early twentieth century when the National Woman's Party (NWP) was formed.

By the time the split occurred, the NAWSA had become increasingly less radical, calling for individual states to lobby and petition for suffrage. While their efforts were met with a considerable measure of success (New York, for example, approved a suffrage petition signed by over a million women in 1917), it was the NWP that focused on the passage of a constitutional amendment to ensure female suffrage. The bill for such an amendment first came before the House of Representatives in 1915, but lost a series of close votes in both the House and the Senate before being passed by both at the beginning of the summer of 1919. The last necessary state ratified it just over a year later, making the bill the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution.[12]

While most think of these two demographics when considering the issue of suffrage during the Civil Rights era, the prospect for those eighteen years and older to vote, rather than just twenty-one years and older, was an important part of the Vietnam War activist agenda. Many saw it as unjust that men who were being drafted were too young to have a say in the selection of those who were sending them to fight. In June of 1970, President Nixon extended the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to those between the ages of eighteen and twenty-one years old, stating along with his endorsement "I have directed the Attorney General to cooperate fully in expediting a swift court test of the constitutionality of the 18-year-old provision."[13] Nixon's decision was almost immediately put to such a test in the Supreme Court case Oregon v. Mitchell. The state of Oregon filed a petition saying for the federal government to decree a minimum voting age of eighteen was unconstitutional. The court in effect sided with the state, saying the government could only set such requirements for federal elections, but had to leave state elections to the individual states.[14] Spurred by increasing pressure from Vietnam War activists and other proponents of lowering the voting age, however, a Constitutional amendment proposal to lower the voting age for all elections passed the House and Senate only months after Oregon v. Mitchell, with the states ratifying it by the summer of 1971.[15]

Modern laws and controversies

Despite the progress that has been made in establishing universal suffrage, controversy continues to surround the issue with some modern restrictions on voting practices and access still called unjust.

Convicted felons

No federal law exists regarding the voting status of convicted felons, whether incarcerated or not, and so their legal ability to do so varies from state to state. There is a wide range of categories that the states occupy in terms of when in a felon's life they can once again vote, with some states reserving the right to possibly ban voting rights for life even after the completion of their supervised release (Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming), while others allow those incarcerated to vote from prison (only Vermont and Maine). The number of people disenfranchised amounts to about 2.42% of the total possible voting population[16]

Many see this issue as linked to the resurgence in attempts to disenfranchise blacks and minorities, mainly due to the sheer number of blacks disenfranchised in comparison to the national average. 1.4 million, or thirteen percent, of black men are not allowed to vote, a rate nearly seven times the national average, with that number reaching almost forty percent when looking at those states in which voting rights can be permanently lost.[17] The United States also has the highest prison population and percentage of citizens currently incarcerated in the world, making their prospect for voting potentially critical in determining possible outcomes of elections.[18]

References

See also