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Voting rights

EDITOR: When the U.S. Constitution was adopted in 1787, those granted political power were white, male Christian property owners, 21 years or older. This was not a "government of the people, by the people, and for the people." The following is a partial timeline of laws and amendments democratizing voting in the United States:

; 1810: Religious prerequisites for voting eliminated. (1810)

; 1850: Property and tax requirements eliminated, allowing almost all adult white males to vote.

; 1885-90: Literacy tests eliminated but re-instated in 10 states.

; 1870: 15th Amendment gives former slaves voting rights and protects voting rights of all male citizens of any race.

; 1920: 19th Amendment guarantees women the right to vote.

; 1924: Indian Citizenship Act grants all Native Americans the rights of citizenship, including voting rights.

; 1965: Poll tax banned.

; 1971: Minimum voting age lowered to 18.

People do not willingly give up power, but over 225 years white propertied males in the United States have consistently voted to share that power. May the Santa Rosa Charter Review Committee follow their noble example and recommend district elections.


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