The first vote / drawn by A.R. Waud.

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This is a photo of "The first vote" drawn by A.R. Waud and published in Harper's Weekly in November 1876. Added by Ancient Faces on January 10, 2012.

In 1870, the Fifteenth Amendment to the US Constitution prevented states from denying the right to vote on the grounds of "race, color, or previous condition of servitude".

Unfortunately, the former Confederate states passed Jim Crow laws and amendments in order to disfranchise black and poor white voters. They used poll taxes, literacy tests, grandfather clauses and other restrictions, applied in a discriminatory manner. It wasn't until the 20th century that these actions were ruled unconstitutional.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 ended many discriminatory practices but in 2013, the Supreme Court struck down the heart of the act and gave states the right to change the rules without federal approval.
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Updated Sep 03, 2020

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