Chalk the Vote!
OWHC and the Oregon Historical Society are collaborating on activities for August 26, 2020. The more we put our collective heads together to think about the long history of voting rights—who has had access to the ballot, how voting rights have been gained, or lost, by US citizens—expanding the Chalk Project seemed necessary. The year 2020 is the:
- 150th anniversary of the 15th Amendment (removed race, color or prior servitude from denying voting rights)
- 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment (removed sex from denying voting rights)
- 56th anniversary of the 24th Amendment (ended the poll tax)
- 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act (prohibited racial discrimination in voting)
- 49thanniversary of the 26th Amendment: right to vote cannot be denied on account of age for those 18 or older (This amendment has roots in an Oregon legal case, Oregon v. Mitchell, 1970)
Together these five legislative remedies extended the right to vote/suffrage/the franchise to vast numbers of citizens who had previously been denied full citizenship. Each of these pieces of legislation righted previous wrongs by adding new voices to the governance of our nation, and moved us closer to the stated equality laid out in our nation’s founding documents.
To honor all of these important changes to our state’s and our nation’s history of voting rights, we encourage you or your organization to plan now for chalking the text of any or all of these significant amendments and acts.
“The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”
“The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”
The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.
“AN ACT To enforce the fifteenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States . . . No voting qualifications or prerequisites to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure shall be imposed or applied by any State or political subdivision to deny or abridge the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color.”
The right of citizens of the United States, who are 18 years of age or older, to vote, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of age.