How Far We've Come: Voting Over Time


Oct 20, 2016

How Far We've Come: Voting Over Time

From the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 to the passage of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) in 2002, the United States of America has clearly progressed.

But, without the help of activists like Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, and Martin Luther King Jr., the U.S. would have never become a country where voting is a constitutional right for all.

Though today many often choose not to vote, there was once a time where minorities were not allowed to even make that choice because voting was a privilege bestowed upon only a small group of people — primarily White Protestant men over 21-years-old.

Click through the gallery above to follow our voting timeline through a little more of our nation's history. Some facts may surprise you!

So, will you be voting in this election?

NEXT: Where In the World Is the Declaration of Sentiments? »

Related Stories:
This Woman Was the Only Signer of the Declaration of Sentiments Who Lived to See Women Vote
Did You Know... Susan B. Anthony Was Once Arrested for Voting?

Photo Credit: Underwood Archives/Getty Images (L), Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty images (TC), MPI/Getty Images (TR), Washington Bureau/Getty Images (BC), Bettmann via Getty Images (BR)


1776 With the signing of the Declaration of Independence, only those who owned land were able to vote during the Colonial and Revolutionary periods. Because most landowners at the time were white males over 21 years old, those were the individuals in the voting booths. Photo Credit: Chris Ware/Keystone/Getty Images
1848 On July 20, the Seneca Falls Convention, or the nation's first women's rights convention, produced the Declaration of Sentiments. With the help of Frederick Douglass, the convention called for universal voting rights for women. Photo Credit: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images
1866 Susan B. Anthony (L) and Elizabeth Cady Stanton (R) form an organization dedicated to universal voting rights. Photo Credit: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty images
1872 Former Slave Sojourner Truth goes to a polling booth in Grand Rapids, Michigan and demands a ballot before unfortunately being turned away. Photo Credit: MPI/Getty Images
1890 Wyoming becomes the first state to give women the right to vote in its constitution. Photo Credit: Duncan Walker via Getty Images
1920 The Nineteenth Amendment, granting women the right to vote, is passed. Pictured are the first three women (unidentified) to vote after the passing of the amendment. Photo Credit: Underwood Archives/Getty Images
1961 Citizens of Washington, D.C. are now able to vote for the President of the United States because of the passage of the Twenty-Third Amendment. D.C. citizens, however, were mostly African American at the time and were not given voting representation in Congress. Photo Credit: Bettmann via Getty Images
1965 The Voting Rights Act is passed, granting black men and women the right to vote, after the grassroots movement increases pressure for change. Photo Credit: Washington Bureau/Getty Images
1971 By this time the voting age was moved to 18-years-old as a result of protests of the Vietnam War. Photo Credit: Bettmann via Getty Images
2002 The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) is passed in order to make much needed reforms to the voting process. Photo Credit: Melissa Golden/Getty Images

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