Voting Rights in America



The chart below illustrates how the right to vote has expanded in the United States since 1789. Beneath the chart, there is an outline of the major events that have influenced this expansion. Use the chart and the outline to answer the questions in the quiz. Good luck!



  • 1789: Only white male property owners allowed to vote in the United States
  • Early 19th century: Some states began to grant suffrage to all white men regardless of property ownership
  • 1870: 15th Amendment ratified, prohibiting the denial of voting rights on the basis of race
  • 1920: 19th Amendment ratified, granting women the right to vote
  • 1964: 24th Amendment abolishes poll taxes, which had been used to prevent African Americans and poor whites from voting
  • 1965: Voting Rights Act strengthens voting rights protections, particularly in the South where Jim Crow laws and voter suppression had been rampant
  • 1971: 26th Amendment ratified, lowering the voting age from 21 to 18, giving young people the right to vote