SubscribeAvailable Now
Colorado’s ratification of suffrage amendment, Dec. 12, 1919. Photo courtesy of the Records of the National Woman’s Party, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

Voting Rights Milestones

Making sure that Americans have equal access to the polls has been a long process—and it’s still evolving.

 •  

1837: The Anti-Slavery Convention of American Women in New York City meets on May 9 and discusses universal suffrage.

1848: The Seneca Falls Convention—known as the first major women’s rights meeting—is held in New York state.

1868: The 14th Amendment gives all males born or naturalized in the United States equal rights (although many groups still did not have access to voting).

1870: Black men’s right to vote is guaranteed with the ratification of the 15th Amendment.

1893: Coloradans give women access to voting booths.

1920: The 19th Amendment is ratified on August 18 (only 36 states are required to ratify an amendment; Tennessee was the 36th).

Photo courtesy of Everett Collection Historical/Alamy Stock Photo

1924: The Indian Citizenship Act grants Native Americans citizenship.

1943: The Magnuson Act allows Chinese immigrants to become citizens and vote.

1965: The Voting Rights Acts of 1965 helps remove racist Jim Crow laws that prevented people of color from voting or registering to vote.

1971: The voting age drops to 18 (from 21) with the 26th Amendment.

2013: Colorado shifts to mail-in ballots.

2019: Colorado legislators pass a bill allowing parolees to vote.

2020: Seventeen-year-olds can vote in Colorado primaries if they will turn 18 before the general election.

What We're Reading

Newsletters

Keep me up to date on the latest trends and happenings around Denver. 5280 has a newsletter for everyone.

Sign Up