Encounters: Voting Rights and Access in our Democracy
The principle and practice of popular election lies at the very heart of American democracy. But who gets to vote for our political leaders? The answer to that question has changed over the years here in Connecticut. Originally voting was limited to men of property. The 1818 State Constitution then added the word “white” in describing eligible voters. Not until the passage of the 15th Amendment could Connecticut men of color vote again. Women had to wait until 1920 and ratification of the 19th Amendment to gain that same right. Even for those who has access to the polls, the process could be complicated. For instance, Connecticut required literacy tests of voters between 1855 and 1970. Current national debates about voting reveal ongoing questions and differences of opinion. Join Connecticut’s Old State House for this structured conversation on voting rights and access, a subject vital to the state’s past, present and future.