VOTE ... AMERICA!
November 3, 2020
Image created by USA Patriotism!
Every American citizen, who is of legal age to vote ... should exercise this precious freedom ... for every election ... as the total from those ... who think their vote ... won't make the difference ... might be the reason ... why their vote ... made the difference!
David G. Bancroft, USA Patriotism! Founder/Owner
Voting Rights Constitutional Amendments
The 12th Amendment
Ratified in 1804, the 12th Amendment changed the rules governing presidential elections. Prior to the amendment, the president and vice president were elected strictly through popular vote. The 12th Amendment recognized the existence of political parties and specified that from that point forward, the president and vice president elections would be determined by the electoral college rather than popular vote.
The electoral college is a group of electors from each state that is equal to the number of senators and congressmen for that state. This shift from a strictly popular vote to a vote by the electoral college meant that states with smaller populations would have an equal say in choosing a new president compared to states with much larger populations. The 12th Amendment makes it possible for a president to be elected without winning the popular vote.
The 15th Amendment
Ratified in 1870, the 15th Amendment was designed to protect U.S. citizens from being denied the right to vote based on race, color or former slave status. The amendment specified that all men over the age of 21 would be entitled to vote regardless of race or color. With slavery having been abolished only five years prior to its ratification, the 15th Amendment reflected the gradual integration of African-Americans into American society.
The 17th Amendment
Ratified in 1913, the 17th Amendment changed the way that senators are elected. Prior to the amendment, senators were elected by the legislature for each state. The 17th Amendment shifted the power to elect senators from the state legislature to the people. Senators are now elected by popular vote.
The 19th Amendment
Ratified in 1920, the 19th Amendment prohibits the states and the federal government from denying the right to vote to citizens of the United States on the basis of sex. Initially introduced to Congress in 1878, several attempts to pass a women's suffrage amendment failed until passing the House of Representatives on May 21, 1919, followed by the Senate on June 4, 1919. It was then submitted to the states for ratification. On August 18, 1920, Tennessee was the last of the necessary 36 ratifying states to secure adoption. The Nineteenth Amendment's adoption was certified on August 26, 1920: the culmination of a decades-long movement for women's suffrage at both state and national levels.
The 24th Amendment
Ratified in 1964, the 24th Amendment made it illegal to require voters to pay a poll tax. Prior to the amendment, black people and others of little means were excluded from casting votes because they did not have the money to pay for a poll tax. The 24th Amendment put an end to people being disenfranchised by a lack of money.
The 26th Amendment
Ratified in 1971, the 26th Amendment lowered the voting age from 21 to 18. Prior to the amendment, 18-year-old Americans were being drafted to fight in the Vietnam War but did not have the right to vote. The 26th Amendment gave voting rights to any American citizen who was 18 years of age or older.
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