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The History of Voters and Voting
Transcript of The History of Voters and Voting
Voter Suppression or
April 30, 1789
(Wall Street Journal, 2009)
April 19, 1792
Disenfranchisement of Felons
Connecticut bars anyone found guilty of a major felony, such as fraud, from voting. October 12, 1818
Connecticut Constitution Establishes Criminal Disenfranchisement.
Connecticut's state constitution is ratified. It bars from voting "those convicted of bribery, forgery, perjury, dueling, fraudulent bankruptcy, theft, or other offense for which an infamous punishment is inflicted."
Women's Right to Vote
Barring “Idiots” and the “Insane” Maine becomes the first state to adopt a constitutional provision prohibiting "persons under guardianship" from voting.
Clark, Josh, and Jane McGrath. "How Ponzi Schemes Work" 09 February 2009. HowStuffWorks.com. <http://money.howstuffworks.com/ponzi-scheme.htm> 12 December 2012.
"Inside the Madoff Scandal: Chapter One." Wall Street Journal, 3 Dec. 2009. Web. 12 Dec. 2012.
Katz, Basil. "Bernard Madoff Brother Pleads Guilty in Ponzi Case." Reuters. Thomson Reuters, 29 June 2012. Web.
Madoff Behind Bars. N.d. Photograph. LG Report. Web.
"Madoff's Victims." Madoff's Victim List. WSJ Reporting; Associated Press; the Companies and Charities, 6 Mar. 2009. Web.
"Ponzi Schemes: How to Recognize and Avoid Investment Scams." National Ethics Asstiation Ethics.com. N.p., n.d. Web. Dec. 2012. <"Ponzi Schemes: How to Recognize and Avoid Investment Scams." National Ethics Asstiation Ethics.com. N.p., n.d. Web. Dec. 2012.>.
"Rembaum Et Al v. Banco Santander, S.A. Et Al - Document 75." Justia Law. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2012.
"Sesame Street Explains the Madoff Scandal." YouTube. YouTube, 20 Mar. 2009. Web. 12 Dec. 2012.
Twomey, David P., and Marianne M. Jennings. Business Law: Principles for Today's Commercial Environment. 3rd ed. N.p.: Southwestern-Cengage Learning, n.d. Print.
by: Cathy Fisher
Pat McCory, Governor, North Carolina
signs into law, HB589 - Voter Information
Verification Act. The main segments of this
Requirement of a government issued
Poll hours shortened
No teenage pre-registration
No straight-party voting
No same day registration
In 2013, restrictive voting bills have been introduced in more than alf the states.
restrictive bills were introduced in
restrictive bills are still pending in
restrictive bills are currently active in
(Massachusetts and Ohio), in that there has been legislative activity beyond introduction and referral to committee (such as hearings, committee activity, or votes).
states have already passed
restrictive bills this session.
Voter Suppression or Voter Integrity?
Voter Suppression or Voter Integrity?
In a November 5, 2013 article in the Washington Post, an article titled “Five Reasons voter identification bills disproportionately impact women”, by Reid Wilson, an example of the subject was:
Voting-rights advocates are pushing a new line of attack of laws that require voters to show identification at the polls. The laws, they say, disproportionately impact women.
There’s anecdotal evidence in Texas, where state Senator Wendy Davis (D) was among those who had to sign an affidavit before casting her ballot because her voter record didn’t include her middle name. (Davis’s likely general election opponent in her bid for governor, Attorney General Greg Abbott, also had to sign an affidavit).
Timeline - History of
Voters and Voting
A Texas district judge who has been voting for the past five decades was almost barred from the polls Tuesday, thanks to the state’s newly implemented, stricter voter ID law. The law kicked in on Tuesday as early voting in Texas’ November 5 election began.
As she told local channel Kiii News, 117th District Court Judge Sandra Watts was flagged for possible voter fraud because her driver’s license lists her maiden name as her middle name, while her voter registration form has her real middle name. This was the first time she has ever had a problem voting in 49 years. “What I have used for voter registration and for identification for the last 52 years was not sufficient yesterday when I went to vote,” she said.
1776 – The Declaration of Independence is signed. Existing restrictions on voting rights remain in place, limiting the right to vote to white, male property owners. Catholics, Jews and Quakers, are barred from voting. By the first presidential election in 1789, just 6% of the population is eligible to vote.
1787/1789 - Originally, the U.S. Constitution did not define who could vote and was simply built around a concept of rights of "person", with voting not explicitly included in the rights. When the country was founded, in most states, only non-Negro men with real property-usually of at least 50 acres- (land) or sufficient wealth for taxation were permitted to vote. Women could vote in New Jersey, provided they could meet the property requirement, and in some local jurisdictions in other northern states. Men and women of color could also vote in these jurisdictions, provided they could meet the property requirement. Freed slaves could vote in four states. Un-propertied men and women, including slaves, were largely denied the franchise. At the time of the American Civil War, most white men were allowed to vote, whether or not they owned property. Literacy tests, poll taxes, and even religious tests were used in various places, and most white women, people of color, and Native Americans still could not vote. The United States Constitution, in Article VI, section 3, states that
"no religious test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."
The Constitution, however, leaves the determination of voting qualifications to the individual states. Over time, the federal role in elections has increased through amendments to the Constitution and enacted legislation, such as the Voting Rights Act of 1965. At least five of the fifteen post-Civil War constitutional amendments were ratified specifically to extend voting rights to different groups of citizens. These extensions state that voting rights cannot be denied or abridged based on the following:
a. Birth - "All persons born or naturalized" "are citizens" of the U.S. and the U.S. State where they reside (14th Amendment, 1868)
b. "Race, color, or previous condition of servitude" - (15th Amendment, 1870)
c. "On account of sex" - (19th Amendment, 1920)
d. In Washington, D.C., presidential elections (23rd Amendment, 1961)
e. (For federal elections) "By reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax" - (24th Amendment, 1964) (For state elections) Taxes -
(Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections, 383 U.S. 663 (1966))
f. Age –Who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of age" (26th Amendment, 1971).
George Washington inaugurated as the first President of the United States of America
Starting with the Naturalization Act of 1790, many of these acts are related to naturalization and immigration – again, direct correlation with voting and voter’s rights.
The Naturalization Act of 1790 – removed barrier for only white men who didn’t own property could be naturalized and gave the states the right to adopt this Act – Delaware was the first in 1792 with NC being the last in 1856.
1810 – last religious prerequisite for voting is eliminated.
July 19, 1848 - Seneca Falls NY
Women's Rights Convention
Susan B. Anthony was arrested and brought to trial in Rochester, New York, for attempting to vote for Ulysses S. Grant in the presidential election; she was convicted and fined $100 and the costs of her prosecution but refused to pay.
Felony disenfranchisement is not allowing people to vote
(known as disenfranchisement) due to their having been convicted
of a criminal offense. The right to vote may be temporarily or
permanently rescinded. For the affected individual, there are
"collateral consequences” including loss of access to jobs, housing,
and other facilities. The community to which the felon returns may
be unaware of the collateral consequences to the community,
including lower percentages of community members who
participate in the political process through voting. Opponents have
argued that it restricts and conflicts with principles of universal
Kentucky Constitution Is First among US States to
Establish Criminal Disenfranchisement
Kentucky's state constitution is ratified. It states "Laws
shall be made to exclude from... suffrage those who
thereafter be convicted of bribery, perjury, forgery,
or other high crimes and misdemeanors."
Richardson v. Ramirez, 418 U.S. 24 (1974), held that convicted felons could be barred from voting without violating the Fourteenth Amendment.
Plaintiffs, who had been convicted of felonies and had completed their sentences, brought a class action against California’s Secretary of State and election officials, challenging a state constitutional provision and statutes that permanently disenfranchised anyone convicted of an “infamous crime,” unless the right to vote was restored by court order or executive pardon.
Typically in voting rights cases, states must show that the voting restriction is necessary to a “compelling state interest,” and is the least restrictive means of achieving the state’s objective. In this case, the plaintiffs argued that the state had no compelling interest to justify denying them the right to vote. The California Supreme Court agreed that the law was unconstitutional. On appeal, however, the U.S. Supreme Court said that a state does not have to prove that its felony disenfranchisement laws serve a compelling state interest.
The Court pointed to Section 2 of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which exempted felony disenfranchisement laws from the heightened scrutiny given to other restrictions on the right to vote. The Court said that Section 2, which reduces a state’s representation in Congress if the state has denied the right to vote for any reason “except for participation in rebellion, or other crime,” distinguishes felony disenfranchisement from other forms of voting restrictions, which must be narrowly tailored to serve compelling state interests in order to be constitutional.
August 18, 1920
The first National Women’s Rights Convention takes place
in Worcester, MA, attracting more than 1,000 participants.
National conventions are held yearly (except for 1857)
Minor v Happersett - The Supreme Court of Missouri rules in Minor v. Happersett that neither the 14th Amendment nor the Constitution guarantees women's suffrage and that states have the authority to decide who can and can not vote. Three years earlier, Virginia Minor and her husband, Francis, sued a St. Louis registrar who barred her from registering to vote.
Colorado is the first state to adopt an amendment granting women the right to vote. Utah and Idaho follow suit in 1896, Washington State in 1910, California in 1911, Oregon, Kansas, and Arizona in 1912, Alaska and Illinois in 1913, Montana and Nevada in 1914, New York in 1917; Michigan, South Dakota, and Oklahoma in 1918.
On December 10, 1869, territorial Governor John Allen Campbell extended the right to vote to women, making Wyoming the first territory and then U.S. state (1890) to grant suffrage to women
Women Lead Voting Rights Marches - On Monday, March 3, 1913, lawyer Inez Milholland Boissevain, clad in a white cape and riding a white horse, led the great women's suffrage parade down Pennsylvania Avenue in the nation's capital. Behind her stretched a long procession, including nine bands, four mounted brigades, three heralds, more than 20 floats and more than 5,000 marchers. Women from countries that had enfranchised women held the place of honor in the first section of the procession. Then came the "pioneers" who had struggled for so many decades to secure women's right to vote. The next sections celebrated working women, who were grouped by occupation and wore appropriate garb -- nurses in uniform, woman farmers, homemakers, woman doctors and pharmacists, actresses, librarians.
Votes for Women - At the 1912 Ohio Constitutional Convention, delegates insist that voting would place an undue "burden" on women, and only "unwomanly" ladies would turn out to vote. The suffrage movement is labeled a "sex war." In the September election, a woman's suffrage amendment is defeated by less than 100,000 votes.
Too Poor to Vote - Delaware excludes paupers from voting, arguing, "paupers who live on the public funds, and who were under the directions of others, who might control their wills, ought not to be permitted to vote." Paupers included individuals unable to financially support themselves who were placed under the support and control of the government.
Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo (end of Mexican-American war) – citizenship to Mexicans from Texas, New Mexico, California, Nevada, and Arizona – English proficiency and property requirements, along with violence and intimidation, keep them from voting.
Mexican-Americans /Texas - In response to the increasing Mexican-American population in Dimmit County, Texas, the White Man's Primary Association is formed to keep Mexican-Americans from voting in local elections. An editorial in favor of the WMPA asks, "Are you a white man standing with white men, or are you—well, something else?"
No English? No Vote! Interpreters for Mexican-Americans are banned at Texas polls.
c. 1962 – Wiser to Stay Home” - The Republican National Committee launches "Operation Eagle Eye," the first major nationwide campaign against voter fraud. Residents in Houston's minority neighborhoods receive false warnings that police at polling locations would arrest people with outstanding traffic tickets. Latinos in Texas's Rio Grande valley get letters saying, "It probably would be wiser to simply stay at home and not go near the voting place on election day, rather than get arrested for interfering with the election judge.”
TIME’s Michael Scherer in 2012 reported, "
Mexican Americans — who account for two-thirds of the Latino community, the U.S.’s largest minority group, and are gravely concerned about immigration reform — may prove a more important voting bloc than Cuban Americans. The key factor won’t just be their sheer numbers, although they’re enormous: while Cuban Americans represent less than
% of the Latino electorate, Mexican Americans, who also refer to themselves as Chicanos, represent about
% of it. But what makes the difference this year is that Mexican Americans are carrying that weight in battleground states, particularly western turf like Colorado and Nevada, that could be just as, if not more, swingin’ than Florida."
Read more: U.S. Presidential Election: Mexican Americans Finally Have Their Say | TIME.com http://swampland.time.com/2012/09/30/from-cesar-chavez-to-the-denver-debate-mexican-american-voters-finally-have-their-say.
Thirteenth amendment (abolish slavery) adopted by both houses of congress 12/6/1865 and quickly with enough states was ratified. (Mississippi last state to officially ratify in 2/3/2013)
The fourteenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States was introduced in 1865, passed in 1866, and officially ratified in 1868.
Timeline of the
1870 - 1966
Jim Crow Laws
"Florida leads the way...Backwards"
Louisiana "Grandfather Clause"
Violence in Alabama
Register, then Purge
March Against Fear
The Voting Rights Act of 1965
“Visible Admixture” Election officials in Ohio can challenge the ballot of any person who displays a "visible admixture" of Negro and white blood. Anyone questioned had to produce two witnesses and swear that his parents had no Negro blood. Voter rolls permanently recorded challenges to a voter's all-white ancestry.
Georgia enacts a law allowing local registrars to register new voters only during planting and harvesting periods, when black farmworkers couldn't travel to the county courthouse and register.
The Florida Legislature adopts a poll tax provision and “eight box” law, causing voter turnout among African American men to decrease from 62 to 11 percent over the next four years. Eight Box Law:
By 1882, the Democrats in South Carolina were firmly in power. Republican voters were contained in the heavily black counties of Beaufort and Georgetown. Because the state had a large black majority, white Democrats still feared a possible resurgence of black voters at the polls. To remove the black threat, the General Assembly created an indirect literacy test, called the "Eight Box Law." The law required a separate box for each office, and for a voter to insert the ballot into the corresponding box or it would not count. The ballots could not have party symbols on them. They had to be of a correct size and type of paper. Many ballots were arbitrarily rejected because they slightly deviated from the requirements. Ballots could also randomly be rejected if there were more ballots in a box than registered voters.
The multiple ballot box law was challenged in court. On May 8, 1895, Judge Goff of the United States Circuit Court declared the provision
unconstitutional and enjoined the state from taking further action under it. But in June 1895 the US Circuit Court of Appeals reversed
Judge Goff and dissolved the injunction, leaving the way open for a convention. The constitutional convention met on September 10 and adjourned on December 4, 1895. By the new constitution, South Carolina adopted the Mississippi Plan until January 1, 1898. Any male citizen could be registered who was able to read a section of the constitution or to satisfy the election officer that he understood it when read to him. Those thus registered were to remain voters for life. Under the new constitution, there was a drop in black voters: by 1896, in a state
where blacks comprised a majority of the population, only 5,500 black voters had succeeded in registering.
Louisiana legislators amend the state constitution, adopting a “grandfather clause” that disenfranchises illiterate or non-land-owning voters whose fathers or grandfathers could not vote in 1867.
While attempting to register to vote in
Birmingham, AL, a group of African-American women
are beaten by election officials.
When recently discharged veteran Etoy Fletcher
attempts to register to vote in rural Mississippi, the
registrar responds, “Niggers are not allowed to vote in
Rankin County, and if you don’t want to get into serious
trouble get out of this building.” Four white men later
assaulted Fletcher while he waited for a bus, drove him
into the woods, beat him, and threatened to kill him if he
attempted to vote again.
In Caddo Parish, Louisiana, the registrar enrolls only black voters who can produce three registered white voters to vouch for them.
Georgia passes a "registration and purge" law, which requires voters who didn't cast a ballot in an election at least once in a two year period to re-register. These voters had to pass the state's literacy test or answer questions proving their "good character" and "understanding of the duties of citizenship." Local election officials commonly tested black applicants on longer and more difficult passages of the US and state constitution than whites, and allowed white applicants to be tested as a group.
Municipal boundaries of Tuskegee, Alabama, are gerrymandered to exclude all but 4 or 5 of the city’s approximately 400 qualified black voters. No white voters are excluded. (A sample of 2012 Illinois district #4)
North Carolina - District 12
Launched in June 1964, Freedom Summer (also known as the Mississippi Summer Project) was a campaign in the United States to attempt to register as many African-American voters as possible in Mississippi, which had historically excluded most blacks from voting. The project also set up dozens of Freedom Schools, Freedom Houses, and community centers in small towns throughout Mississippi to aid the local black population. The project was organized by the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO), a coalition of the Mississippi branches of the four major civil rights organizations (SNCC, CORE, NAACPand SCLC). Most of the impetus, leadership, and financing for the Summer Project came from the SNCC. Robert Parris Moses, SNCC field secretary and co-director of COFO, directed the summer project.
January 23, 1964
The Twenty-fourth Amendment (Amendment XXIV) prohibits both Congress and the states from conditioning the right to vote in federal elections on payment of a poll tax or other types of tax. The amendment was proposed by Congress to the states on August 27, 1962, and was ratified by the states on January 23, 1964.
1855 - First literacy test adopted in Connecticut. LITERACY TESTS were voting qualifications that required a person to prove the ability to read and write in order to be eligible to vote. Connecticut
enacted the first literacy tests in 1855, requiring persons to be able to read any article of the U.S. Constitution or any section of a state statute. Persons eligible to vote prior to 1855 were exempted from the requirement. The stated justification for these tests was that they helped to ensure that only informed, knowledgeable, and educated individuals were eligible to vote. But given the unjustified exemption for prior voters, the voting qualifications were more directed at keeping newly-arrived, working-class immigrants from voting. After the Civil War, the number of states requiring literacy tests for voters increased substantially, primarily in the south. These tests had the purpose of disfranchising newly eligible African-American voters. To placate opposition to these tests from illiterate whites, several southern states passed ... For example, “In the space below, write the word “noise” backwards and place a dot over what would be its second letter should it have been written forward” is one of the questions that appears on a literary test once given in Louisiana.
Interestingly, the first known literacy test did not originate in the South. In an effort to keep Irish-Catholic immigrants from voting, Connecticut adopted the nation’s first literacy test in 1855, with Massachusetts following suit in 1857. Angered by the many advances of Reconstruction that sent former slaves to state legislatures in large numbers, as well as some federal offices, the white power structure in Southern states began actively blocking such progress, with literacy tests becoming one of its most sinister tools.
1965 – Bloody Sunday- The Selma to Montgomery marches, also known as Bloody Sunday and the two marches that followed, were marches and protests held in 1965 that marked the political and emotional peak of the American civil rights movement. All three were attempts to march from Selma to Montgomery where the Alabama capitol
is located. The marches grew out of the voting rights movement in Selma, launched by local African-Americans who formed the Dallas County Voters League (DCVL). In 1963, the DCVL and organizers from the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) began voter registration work. When white resistance to black voter registration proved intractable, the DCVL requested the assistance of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, who brought many prominent civil rights and civic leaders to support voting rights. The first march took place on March 7, 1965 — known as "Bloody Sunday" — when 600 marchers, protesting the death of Jimmie Lee Jackson and ongoing exclusion from the electoral process, were attacked by state and local police with billy clubs and tear gas. The second march was held the following Tuesday (March 9th), and resulted in 2,500 protesters turning around after crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge. The third march started March 16. The marchers averaged 10 miles (16 km) a day along U.S. Route 80, known in Alabama as the "Jefferson Davis Highway". Protected by 2,000 soldiers of the U.S. Army, 1,900 members of the Alabama National Guard under Federal command, and many FBI agents and Federal Marshals, marchers arrived in Montgomery on March 24 and at the Alabama State Capitol on March 25. The route is memorialized as the Selma To Montgomery Voting Rights Trail, and is a U.S. National Historic Trail.
1965 - The Voting Rights Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 1973–
1973bb-1) is a landmark piece of national legislation in the United States that prohibits discrimination in voting. Echoing the language of the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, the Act prohibits states and local governments 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. "It was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson, who had earlier signed the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law.
The Civil Rights
Act of 1964
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Pub.L. 88–352, 78 Stat. 241, enacted July 2, 1964) is a landmark piece of civil rights legislation in the United States that outlawed major forms of discrimination against racial, ethnic, national and religious minorities, and women. It ended unequal application of voter registration requirements and racial segregation in schools, at the workplace and by facilities that served the general public (known as "public accommodations").
Powers given to enforce the act were initially weak, but were supplemented during later years. Congress asserted its authority to legislate under several different parts of the United States Constitution, principally its power to regulate interstate commerce under Article One (section 8), its duty to guarantee all citizens equal protection of the laws under the Fourteenth Amendment and its duty to protect voting rights under the Fifteenth Amendment. The Act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on July 2, 1964 at the White House.
On June 6, 1966, James Meredith started a solitary March Against Fear for 220 miles from Memphis, Tennessee, to Jackson, Mississippi,to protest against racism. Soon after starting his march he was shot by a gunman with shotgun, injuring him. When they heard the news,other civil rights campaigners, including SCLC's Martin Luther King, SNCC's Stokely Carmichael, Cleveland Sellers and Floyd McKissick, as well as the Human Rights Medical Committee and other civil rights organizations decided to continue the march in Meredith's name. The NAACP were originally involved but pulled out on learning that the Deacons for Defense and Justice were going to be protecting the march. Ordinary people both black and white came from the South and all parts of the country to participate. The marchers slept on the ground outside or in large tents, and were fed mainly by local communities. On the early evening of Thursday, June 16, 1966, when the marchers arrived in Greenwood, Mississippi, and tried to set up camp at Stone Street Negro Elementary School, Carmichael was arrested for trespassing on public property. Carmichael was held for several hours and then rejoined the marchers at a local park where they had set up camp and were beginning a nighttime rally. According to civil rights historian David Garrow, an angry Carmichael took the speaker's platform and delivered his famous "Black Power" speech. King, who had flown to Chicago on Wednesday to help organize the open housing marches, returned to Mississippi on Friday to find that the civil rights movements' internal divisions between the old guard and new guard had gone public. SNCC's "Black Power" slogan was now competing with SCLC's "Freedom Now" slogan. In Canton, Mississippi the march was attacked and tear-gassed by the Mississippi State Police, who were joined by other police agencies. Several marchers were wounded, one severely. Human Rights Medical Committee members conducted a house-to-house search that night looking for wounded marchers. The nuns of the Catholic school extended their help and hospitality to the marchers, especially to the wounded.
When the march stopped at Tougaloo College before entering Jackson, James Brown and other musicians entertained it.. By June 26, the march entered Jackson it was estimated to be 15,000 strong. Its passage was warmly welcomed in the black neighborhoods and by some whites. However, many whites jeered and threatened the marchers; others simply stayed
indoors. After hospital treatment, Meredith rejoined the March on June 25, the day before it arrived in Jackson.
The government tried to resolve its relationship with the various native tribes by negotiating treaties. These treaties formed agreements between two sovereign nations, stating that Native American people were citizens of their tribe, living within the boundaries of the U.S. The treaties were negotiated by the executive branch and ratified by the U.S. Senate.
In 1875, the Ponca paramount chief White Eagle, Standing Bear, and other Ponca leaders met with US Indian Agent A. J. Carrier and signed a document allowing removal to Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma). White Eagle and other Ponca leaders later claimed that because of a mistranslation, he had understood that they were to move to the Omaha Reservation, not to the Indian Territory.
In February 1877, eight Ponca chiefs, including Standing Bear, accompanied Inspector Edward C. Kemble to the Osage Reservation to select a site. Due to lack of preparation by the agent, they did not identify a site. Angry about what he called the Ponca chiefs' "insubordination", Kemble left them to walk back north. He proceeded to prepare to remove the tribe. In April, Kemble headed south to the Quapaw Reservation near present-day Peoria, Oklahoma, with those Ponca willing to leave. In May the US Army forced the removal of the rest of the tribe, including Standing Bear and his family.
The Ponca arrived in Oklahoma too late to plant crops that year, and the government failed to provide them with the farming equipment it had promised as part of the deal. In 1878 they moved 150 miles west to the Salt Fork of the Arkansas River, south of present-day Ponca City, Oklahoma. By spring, nearly a third of the tribe had died due to starvation, malaria and related causes. Standing Bear's eldest son, Bear Shield, was among the dead. Standing Bear had promised to bury him in the Niobrara River valley homeland, so he left to travel north, with 65 followers.
When they reached at the Omaha Reservation in Nebraska, they were welcomed as relatives. Word of their arrival in Nebraska soon reached the government. Under orders from the Secretary of the Interior, Carl Schurz, who also directed the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Brigadier General George Crook had the Ponca arrested for having left the reservation in Indian Territory. The Army took Standing Bear and the others to Fort Omaha, where they were detained. Although the official orders were to return them immediately to Indian Territory, Crook was sympathetic to the Ponca and appalled to learn of the conditions they had left. He delayed their return so the Ponca could rest, regain their health, and seek legal redress.
Crook told the Ponca story to Thomas Tibbles, an editor of the Omaha Daily Herald, who publicized it widely. The attorney John L. Webster offered his services pro bono and was joined by Andrew J. Poppleton, chief attorney of the Union Pacific Railroad.
They aided Standing Bear, who in April 1879 sued for a writ of habeas corpus in U.S. District Court in Omaha, Nebraska. Acting as interpreter for Standing Bear was Susette LaFlesche, an accomplished and educated, bilingual Omaha of mixed-race background. The case is called United States ex rel. Standing Bear v. Crook. General Crook was named as the formal defendant because he was holding the Ponca under color of law.
As the trial drew to a close, Judge Dundy announced that Chief Standing Bear would be allowed to make a speech in his own behalf. Raising his right hand, Standing Bear proceeded to speak. Among his words were, "That hand is not the color of yours, but if I prick it, the blood will flow, and I shall feel pain," said Standing Bear. "The blood is of the same color as yours. God made me, and I am a man."
On May 12, 1879, Judge Elmer S. Dundy ruled that "an Indian is a person" within the meaning of habeas corpus. He stated that the federal government had failed to show a basis under law for the Poncas' arrest and captivity.
It was a landmark case, recognizing that an Indian is a “person” under the law and entitled to its rights and protection. “The right of expatriation is a natural, inherent and inalienable right and extends to the Indian as well as to the more fortunate white race,” the judge concluded.
Years later, blind and in failing health, the attorney Poppleton reflected on his final court plea for Standing Bear: “I cannot recall any two hours' work of my life with which I feel better satisfied.”
The Army immediately freed Standing Bear and his followers. The case gained the attention of the Hayes administration, which provided authority for Standing Bear and some of the tribe to return permanently to the Niobrara valley in Nebraska.
The Dawes Act of 1887 (also known as the General Allotment Act or the Dawes Severalty Act of 1887), adopted by Congress in 1887, authorized the President of the United States to survey American Indian tribal land and divide it into allotments for individual Indians. Dawes Act was amended in 1891 and again in 1906 by the Burke Act.
The Act was named for its creator, Senator Henry Laurens Dawes of Massachusetts. The stated objective of the Dawes Act was to stimulate assimilation of Indians into mainstream American society. Individual ownership of land was seen as an essential step. The act also provided that the government would purchase Indian land "excess" to that needed for allotment and open it up for settlement by non-Indians.
The Dawes Commission, set up under an Indian Office appropriation bill in 1893, was created, not to administer the Dawes Act, but to try to persuade the Five Civilized Tribes, which were excluded under the Dawes Act, to agree to an allotment plan. This commission registered the members of the Five Civilized Tribes on what became known as the Dawes Rolls. The Curtis Act of 1908 completed the process of no longer recognizing tribal governments and abolishing tribal jurisdiction of Indian land.
After decades of seeing the disarray these acts caused, the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration supported passage on June 18, 1934 of the US Indian Reorganization Act (also known as the Wheeler-Howard Law). It ended allotment and created a "New Deal" for Indians, including renewing their rights to reorganize and form their own governments.
The Indian Territory Naturalization Act grants citizenship to Native Americans by an application process. In 1890 Congress passed the Indian Territory Naturalization Act, which allowed any member of an Indian tribe in Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) to become a United States citizen by applying for such status in federal courts. The act allowed these Indians to maintain dual citizenship by maintaining tribal citizenship.
The Indian Territory Naturalization Act
The Indian Citizen Act
also known as the Snyder Act
Granted American citizenship to all Indians born in the United States. About 2/3 of the Indian population had already acquired citizenship through other means, but this granted that status to the rest.
In Porter v. Hall, the Arizona Supreme Court rules that Native Americans living on reservations are "wards" of the United States government, and can't vote under existing law
Miguel Trujillo, a Native American and former Marine, sues New Mexico for not allowing him to vote. He wins, and New Mexico, and Arizona are required to give the vote to all Native Americans.
December 17, 1943
Bhagt Singh Thind
Military Service =
Citizenship for Filipinos
Magnuson Act also known as the
Chinese Exclusion Repeal Act of 1943
People of Japanese Heritage
Grants all people of Asian ancestry
the right to become citizens
Chinese Exclusion Act if 1882 bars people of Chinese ancestry
from naturalizing to
become US citizens
People of Japanese Heritage are disenfranchised - The US Supreme Court denies citizenship to Takao Ozawa, a Japanese man, as he is neither white nor black as required by the Naturalization Act. Ozama had sought to reclassify Japanese as white under the act.
United States v. Bhagat Singh Thind, 261 U.S. 204 (1923), was a case in which the United States Supreme Court decided that Bhagat Singh Thind, who was an Indian Sikh, settled in Oregon, could not be a naturalized citizen of the United States, because he was not a "white person" in the sense intended in the relevant 1790 statute governing naturalization. Although Thind argued that as an Indian he belonged to the Aryan and therefore the Caucasian race, the Court found that "the Aryan theory, as a racial basis, seems to be discredited by most, if not all, modern writers on the subject of ethnology," and noted that "the Caucasic division of the human family is 'in point of fact the most debatable field in the whole range of anthropological studies.'" The Court found that the authors of the 1790 statute probably ascribed to "the Adamite theory of creation" and understood "white people" in its popular, and not scientific sense.
Congress bars Filipinos from U.S. citizenship unless then have served three years in the Navy
The Magnuson Act also known as the Chinese Exclusion Repeal Act of 1943 was immigration legislation proposed by U.S. Representative (later Senator) Warren G. Magnuson of Washington and signed into law on December 17, 1943 in the United States. It allowed Chinese immigration for the first time since the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, and permitted some Chinese immigrants already residing in the country to become naturalized citizens. This marked the first time since theNaturalization Act of 1790 that any Asians were permitted to be naturalized. However, the Magnuson Act provided for the continuation of the ban against the ownership of property and businesses by ethnic Chinese. In many states, Chinese Americans (including US citizens) were denied property-ownership rights either by law or de facto until the Magnuson Act itself was fully repealed in 1965.
The Magnuson Act was passed on Dec. 17, 1943, the year China became an official allied nation to the United States in World War II. Although considered a positive development by many, it was particularly restrictive against Chinese immigrants, limiting them to an annual quota of 105 new entry visas. The quota was supposedly determined by the Immigration Act of 1924, which set immigration from qualifying countries at 2% of the number of people who were already living in the United States in 1890 of that nationality. However, the arrived-at number of 105 per annum granted to the Chinese was disproportionately low. (The quota should have been 2,150 per annum, as official census figures place the population of ethnic Chinese living in the USA in 1890 at 107,488 persons. Regardless of method of calculation, the number of Chinese immigrants allowed into the USA was disproportionately low in ratio to the sanctioned immigration of other nationalities and ethnicities. Chinese immigration later increased with the passage of the Immigration and Nationality Services Act of 1965.
2013 - Ohio
2013 - North Carolina
Shelby County v Holder
2006 - Virginia
Timeline - History of
Voters and Voting
1876 - 2014
The Twenty-third Amendment (Amendment XXIII) to the United States Constitution permits citizens in the District of Columbia to vote for Electors for President and Vice President. The amendment was proposed by Congress on June 17, 1960, and ratified by the states on March 29, 1961.
The Twenty-sixth Amendment (Amendment XXVI) to the United States Constitution prohibits the states and the federal government from setting a voting age higher than eighteen. It was adopted in response to student activism against the Vietnam War and partially to overrule the Supreme Court's decision in Oregon v. Mitchell. It was adopted on July 1, 1971.
Amendments to Voting Rights Act require that certain voting materials be printed in languages besides English so that people who do not read English can participate in the voting process.
The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA) (42 U.S.C. § 1973gg), also known as The Motor Voter Act, was signed into effect by United States President Bill Clinton on May 20, 1993. However, compliance did not become mandatory until 1995. The legislation required state governments to allow for registration when a qualifying voter applied for or renewed their driver's license or applied for social services.
Voting rights of United States citizens in Puerto Rico, like the voting rights of other United States territories, differ from those of United States citizens in each of the fifty states and the District of Columbia. Residents of Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories do not have voting representation in the United States Congress and are not entitled to electoral votes for President. The United States Constitution grants congressional voting representation to U.S. states, which Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories are not, specifying that members of Congress shall be elected by direct popular vote and that electors chosen by the States shall elect the President and the Vice President.
The Help America Vote Act (Pub. L. 107–252), or HAVA, is a United States federal law which passed in the House 357-48 and 92-2 in the Senate and was signed into law by President Bush on October 29, 2002. Drafted (at least in part) in reaction to the controversy surrounding the 2000 U.S. presidential election, the goals of HAVA are: replace punch card and lever-based voting systems;
The 2003 Texas redistricting refers to a controversial mid-decade congressional redistricting plan. In the 2004 elections, it resulted in the Republicans' taking a majority of the House seats for the first time since Reconstruction, by a 21 to 11 margin, or a 2 to 1 ratio. This was disproportional to the voting breakdown in the state in the presidential election, in which there was a 61/38 voting ratio of Republicans to Democrats. Opponents challenged the plan in three suits, combined when the case went to the United States Supreme Court in League of United Latin American Citizens v. Perry.
On June 28, 2006, the Supreme Court upheld the statewide redistricting as constitutional, with the exception of Texas' 23rd congressional district, which it held was racially gerrymandered in violation of Section 2 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, apparently to try to protect a Hispanic Republican representative. This district had to be redrawn in a plan with oversight by the court. When completed, a special election was held for the representative of the new district; the Democrat Ciro Rodriguez won the seat.
In 2003, the Texas Legislature redrew lines for its 32 congressional districts to replace a court-drawn map based on the 2000 census. Plaintiffs challenge the new map that it violates the one person, one vote requirement, dilutes the votes of people of color and violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments. The Supreme Court decides that states can redraw their congressional districts at their discretion.
Barack Obama, then junior United States Senator from Illinois, announced his candidacy for the presidency of the United States in Springfield, Illinois, on February 10, 2007. On August 27, 2008, he was declared nominee of the Democratic Party for the 2008 presidential election. He was the first African American in history to be nominated on a major party ticket. On August 23, 2008, Barack Obama's campaign announced that Senator Joe Biden of Delaware would be the Vice Presidential nominee.
On November 4, 2008, Obama won the election, making him the President-elect and the first African American elected President of the United States.He is the third sitting Senator, after Warren G. Harding and John F. Kennedy, to be elected President. His constitutional election to the office was completed with the meeting of the Electoral College on December 15, 2008, and the subsequent certification of the college's vote by the Joint Session of the United States Congress on January 8, 2009. Based on the results of the electoral vote count, Barack Obama was declared the elected President of the United States and Joseph Biden was declared officially as the elected Vice President of the United States in the 2008 presidential election.
A Florida law passed in 2011 by the Florida legislature which reduced the days available for early voting, barred voter-registration activities of groups like the League of Women Voters, and made it more difficult to vote for voters who since the last election had moved to a different county within the state. Jim Greer, the main source, cited in the Palm Beach Post article, was sentenced to 18 months for embezzling from the Florida Republican Party.
The United States presidential election of 2012 was the 57th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on Tuesday, November 6, 2012. The Democratic nominee, incumbent President Barack Obama, and his running mate, Vice President Joe Biden, were re-elected to a second term, defeating the Republican nominee, former Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney, and his running mate, Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.
As the incumbent president, Obama secured the Democratic nomination with no serious opposition. The Republican Party was more fractured; Mitt Romney was consistently competitive in the polls, but faced challenges from a number of more conservative contenders whose popularity each fluctuated, often besting Romney's. Romney effectively secured the nomination by early May as the economy improved, albeit at a persistently laggard rate. The campaign was marked by a sharp rise in fundraising, including from new nominally independent Super PACs. The campaigns focused heavily on domestic issues: debate centered largely around sound responses to the Great Recession in terms of economic recovery and job creation. Other issues included long-term federal budget issues, the future of social insurance programs, and the Affordable Care Act. Foreign policy was also discussed including the phase-out of the Iraq War, the size of and spending on the military, and appropriate counteractions to terrorism.
Obama would go on to win a decisive victory over Romney, winning both the popular vote and the electoral college, with 332 electoral votes to Romney's 206. He became the eleventh President and third Democrat to win a majority of the popular vote more than once. Obama carried all states and districts (among states that allocate electoral votes by district) that he had won in the 2008 presidential election except North Carolina, Indiana, and Nebraska's 2nd congressional district.
The 2012 election campaign—for Congress as well as the presidency—promises to be bitterly fought, even nasty. Leaders of both major parties, and their core constituents, believe that the stakes are exceptionally high; neither party has much trust in the goodwill or good intentions of the other; and, thanks in part to the Supreme Court, money will be flowing in torrents, some of it from undisclosed sources and much of it available for negative campaigning.
Ohio Republicans are once again resurrecting efforts to make it harder to vote. Last month, the GOP-controlled Ohio Senate, on a party-line vote, voted to cut early voting by a week, eliminating the “Golden Week” when Ohioans can register and vote on the same day during the early voting period (Senate Bill 238). The legislation was introduced and passed in one week, with almost no time for substantive debate. The Senate also passed a bill preventing the secretary of state or individual counties from mailing absentee ballots to all eligible voters unless the legislature provides the money, which they are unlikely to do (Senate Bill 205). The Ohio House, which is also controlled by a large GOP majority, is holding hearings on the bills this week.
At the same time, across the country, politicians from both sides of the aisle have introduced ad supported bills that expand access to registration and voting.
expansive bills that would expand access to voting were introduced in
expansive bills are still pending in
expansive bills are currently active in
states (Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina) in that committee (such as hearings, committee activity, or votes).
states have passed
bills that expand opportunities for eligible citizens to register and to vote.
Voting rights of United States citizens in Puerto Rico, like the voting rights of other United States territories, differ from those of United States citizens in each of the fifty states and the District of Columbia. Residents of Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories do not have voting representation in the United States Congress and are not entitled to electoral votes for President.
Help America Vote Act