Voting Rights for AllMany were blocked from exercising their right to vote even after the August 26, 1920 passage.
Although providing the legal foundation for all women to vote, the 19th Amendment did not guarantee that all women had access to exercise their legal right. Black women, Native American women, women of other cultural or ethnic backgrounds – Japanese, Chinese and other women – were denied their suffrage due to many impediments. This history is part of the story and is now being brought to light in many centennial resources. The 19th Amendment is best viewed, not as a definitive triumph, but only one landmark in a struggle for equal rights, which continues to this day.
Important Article Examines Race & Ethnicity Within the Movement
See this New York Times article: “The Complex History of the Women’s Suffrage Movement” by Jennifer Schuessler, Aug 15, 2019 .
Timeline of Milestones
1924 Indian Citizenship Act
Native Americans deemed US citizens, but states continue to decide who votes. Many continue to disenfranchise Native Americans.
Marie Louise Bottineau Baldwin, circa 1911, in a personnel photo for the Office of Indian Affairs. A member of the Metis Turtle Mountain band of the Chippewa, she marched in the 1913 Women’s Suffrage Parade in Washington.
Credit: National Archives at St. Louis, Records of the U.S. Civil Service Commission
1943 Magnuson Act
Chinese in America granted the right to become citizens, and therefore to vote. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 previously prevented this.
World War II – Asian Americans
The civil rights of Japanese immigrants and Japanese-descended U.S. citizens were violated when they were forced into internment camps during World War II. After World War II, citizenship and voting rights gradually opened to Asian immigrants.
New Mexico is the last state to enfranchise Native Americans.
Poll Tax payment prohibited from being used as a condition for voting in federal elections by the Twenty-fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
1965 Voting Rights Act
African Americans and Native Americans continued to face exclusion from voting through mechanisms like poll taxes, literacy tests, and intimidation. Protection of voter registration and voting for racial minorities, later applied to language minorities, is established by the Voting Rights Act of 1965. This has also been applied to correcting discriminatory election systems and districting.
The investigative journalist and suffrage advocate Ida B. Wells, in 1893. She defied demands that black women march in the back of the 1913 suffrage parade.
Credit: National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution