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August 18, 2019

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Test your knowledge of voting rights

The Voting Rights Act, which aimed to abolish discriminatory voting practices, was signed into law Aug. 6, 1965, by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

At the signing ceremony attended by Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders, Johnson called the act “a triumph for freedom as huge as any victory that has ever been won on the battlefield.”

With the midterm elections just months away, this quiz tests your knowledge of the history of voting rights.

1. Which constitutional amendment guaranteed voting rights regardless of “race, color, or previous condition of servitude” and in what year was it ratified?

A. 19th Amendment in 1920

B. 13th Amendment in 1865

C. 15th Amendment in 1870

D. 24th Amendment in 1964

2. What famous suffragist said: “It is a downright mockery to talk to women of their enjoyment of the blessings of liberty while they are denied the use of the only means of securing them provided by this democratic-republican government — the ballot”?

A. Susan B. Anthony

B. Elizabeth Cady Stanton

C. Ida B. Wells

D. Louisa May Alcott

3. Who was the first black woman was elected to Congress?

A. Katie Hall, D-Ind.

B. Mia Love, R-Utah

C. Yvonne Burke, D-Calif.

D. Shirley Chisholm, D-N.Y.

4. The voting rights of “citizens of language minorities” were solidified in amendments to the Voting Rights Act enacted in what year?

A. 1970

B. 1975

C. 1982

D. 2006

5. Until a constitutional amendment was ratified prohibiting it, several states required citizens to pay if they wished to vote in national elections. What was this fee called?

A. Income tax

B. Voter registration fee

C. Poll tax

D. Property tax

6. When did Native Americans gain the right to vote?

A. 1908

B. 1898

C. 1924

D. 1949

7. Before 2018, which three states had all-mail elections?

A. Arkansas, Delaware and Washington

B. Colorado, Nebraska and Michigan

C. North Dakota, Oregon and West Virginia

D. Colorado, Oregon and Washington

8. Which state began all-mail elections this year?

A. Alaska

B. California

C. Hawaii

D. Wyoming

9. Polling places did not need to be handicapped accessible until what year?

A. 1984

B. 1994

C. 1990

D. 1976

10. President Johnson’s “And We Shall Overcome” speech helped pave the way for the Voting Rights Act to pass Congress. He gave the speech in response to what event?

A. Murder of Emmett Till

B. Freedom Rides

C. March on Washington

D. “Bloody Sunday”

Answers: 1-C, 2-A, 3-D, 4-B, 5-C, 6-C, 7-D, 8-B, 9-A, 10-D

Sarah Morgan Smith is a fellow at the Ashbrook Center. She wrote this for