Section 1: Who are Voters
History and stages of voting rights:
Center for Civic Education:
- voting & civil rights timeline
- Interesting fact: in 1855, Connecticut was the first state to enact a literacy test requirement for voting.
- voting rights timeline
- Interesting fact: the Constitution does not guarantee the right to vote.
- create their own timeline
- After completing lesson plans in Section 1C, use this tool to have your students create their own voting rights timelines based on the information they have learned about the history of suffrage in the U.S. and in Connecticut.
How the law defines “voter”
- Oregon Secretary of State’s Federal Laws that Drive Elections
- Citizens, Not Spectators—Federal and State Voter Qualifications
- We the People…How Has the Right to Vote Been Expanded Since the Adoption of the Constitution? (link to pdf titled We the People Lesson 20)
Connecticut law: (Constitutional requirements, 17-year-olds)
- Contains information on voting rights as defined by the Fundamental Orders, the Constitution of 1818 and other CT laws through 1965
- Journal activities and lesson plans including:
- The Power of the Vote
- How Does Voting Guarantee the Common Good?
- Feature on CT native and suffragist Isabella Beecher Hooker
- Where is the Source of Higher Law in the Constitution of 1818?
- Voter Qualification Test
- Feature on Supreme Court ruling on CT Gerrymandering, including reapportionment lesson plan
Fair Vote—information on states where 17-year-olds can register to vote and on states where 17-year-olds can vote in a primary election if they will be 18 by the date of the general election
- Includes interactive map—students can click on a state to learn about voting laws affecting 17-year-olds in that state.
Suffrage for African Americans, women, young people and immigrants
- The Struggle for Suffrage- A History of Women’s Voting Rights
- Lesson Plan
- Iron Jawed Angels
- National Archives Teaching With Documents
- Additional resource: selected images of women’s suffrage (Library of Congress)
African American Suffrage:
- Roadmap to the Vote—lesson plan on history of suffrage for women, African Americans and 18-21-year-olds.
- Voting Rights, the Fifteenth Amendment, and Literacy Tests (includes several historic examples of literacy tests)
- Jim Crow and Voting Rights (The City University of New York)
- African Americans Face and Fight Obstacles to Voting (Teaching Tolerance)
- Congress Protects the Right to Vote: The Voting Rights Act of 1965 (National Archives—utilizes original documents)
- Securing the Right to Vote: The Selma-to-Montgomery Story (The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History—utilizes original documents)
- Additional Resources: Images from the Civil Rights Era (Library of Congress)
Suffrage of Native Americans, Immigrants, Young People:
- Freedom for All? (Bill of Rights Institute—contains information on Native Americans and young people)
- Native American Citizenship Stories (nebraskastudies.org—includes graphic timeline and link to teacher activities)
- Essential Readings on Youth Voting Rights (Annenberg Lerner)
- “Voting at 18 is Ratified by Seven States” (Toledo Blade news article, March 25, 1971)
- Presidential Proclamation—40th Anniversary of the 26th Amendment (whitehouse.gov)
- History of Voter Registration (Fair Vote—contains information on the advent of voter registration as a way to disenfranchise immigrants)
- How to Become a Citizen (includes links to sample citizenship tests)
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