The Right to Vote was not secured as one of our fundamental rights in
the drafting of the U.S. Constitution. Despite repeated attempts to amend
the Constitution and pass legislation to secure this important right for
every American citizen, many remain disenfranchised. Voting Rights have
been and continue to be denied to many, primarily those under-represented
and deprived of political power. Today state legislatures continue to
propose and pass legislation intended to suppress voting turnout. These
voter suppression efforts target the same population groups who have fought
and died for the right to vote for over two centuries.
Understanding the history of the Voting Rights struggle in the U.S.
helps to put the current suppression efforts in sharper focus. Understanding
the previous struggles, advances, and rollbacks helps to bring clarity to
who is most endangered by present voter suppression efforts.