It is hard to imagine a time where not all citizens of the United States were able to register to vote. Women did not win the nationwide right to vote in 1920. Before then, they were only allowed to vote in a few states. It was as recent as the 1960s, when states within the US had policies such as poll taxes, and requiring literacy and English language tests in order to suppress voting among people of color, immigrants, and those who were from low-income communities.
It was not until 1965, that the Voting Rights Act was passed. This act made it illegal for states to require any prerequisites such as literacy tests in order for citizens to vote. In 1975, this act was also expanded to protect immigrants and other minorities with language barriers from discrimination.
During the 1960s, student activists fought for the right to vote. This was due to the fact that during this time, the age to be able to vote was 21. The Vietnam War allowed for college students to be drafted at the age of 18 and this spurned student activists to fight for the right to vote. They felt that if they could be drafted into the war at age 18, then they should be able to vote as well. As a result, the 26th amendment was passed, prohibiting state and federal governments for using age as a reason to prohibit citizens over the age of eighteen from voting.
It was not too long ago that voting was made possible for all US citizens 18 and over: regardless of race, gender, income level or language spoken. Not only is voting more accessible to all citizens aged 18 and over, but now it is easier than ever to register to vote. Voter registration forms are easily accessible in many different languages. Some states, such as New York, even let you register online. Also, if you are at least 16 years-old, you can even pre-register! Once you turn 18, your registration is activated automatically and you can vote at the next election.
Dominicanos USA wants to make the process of registering to vote as convenient as possible. We have an online portal that allows you to register online. It only takes a few minutes! Visit our portal on our website to get started.