Voting Rights in America

Primary Documents in Context

by Bridgett A. King, Editor


Political support for lowering the voting age from 21 to 18 was boosted by the fact that America was sending thousands of 18-, 19-, and 20-year old men to fight in the Vietnam War.

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Cover image for Voting Rights in America

December 2019


Pages 344
Volumes 1
Size 7x10
Topics Current Events and Issues/Politics and Government
  Politics, Law, and Government/Human Rights and Civil Liberties

Through primary sources, this volume examines the history, evolution, and major contemporary controversies associated with voting rights in the United States, devoting particular attention to demographic groups including women, young people, people of color, and poor people.

Voting is often described as the central pillar of American democracy. Yet at various points in the history of the United States, the franchise was kept away from people without landholdings, women, black people, and young members of the armed forces who were nonetheless deemed old enough to risk their lives in the defense of their nation. Even today, many observers contend that the right to vote is being eroded by a pernicious combination of political and social factors.

This work uses primary sources, in concert with broad, context-setting historical overviews and an illuminating introduction to each document, to examine the full scope and importance of the struggle for voting rights in America. Coverage ranges from major historical landmarks such as women's suffrage, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the heavily contested Bush–Gore presidential election of 2000 to documents that examine current controversies about alleged voter suppression, claims of voter fraud, Russian interference in American elections, and the impact of Supreme Court decisions past and present on the constitutional right to vote.


  • Includes essential and illuminating primary sources on the past, present, and future of voting in America
  • Reflects the perspectives of activists, journalists, and ordinary Americans as well as presidents, senators, and Supreme Court justices
  • Provides context for understanding the impact of each featured document in informative headnotes
  • Offers authoritative overviews of historical eras in which major changes to voting took place
Author Info

Bridgett A. King, PhD, is assistant professor of political science at Auburn University and a contributor to the Election Center Certified Elections/Registration Administrator (CERA) program. King was formerly a voting rights researcher at the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law.

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Women in the American Political System cover imageLatinos in the American Political System cover imageWomen's Rights in the United States cover image

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