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With the passage of the 15th and 19th Amendment, all Americans gained the right to vote. But the path to voting has never been so hard for many disenfranchised groups. Vote suppression has a long history in the United States. In the last few decades, the United States saw an increase in the passage of legislation that have made it difficult for voters to vote, especially for disenfranchised groups. A significant numbers of voters were prevented from casting their votes through restrictive measures such as strict voter ID laws and voting times, restricting registration, and purging of voter rolls. Students will learn about the history of voter suppression in the United States and its impact. They will analyze court rulings as well as legislations that have contributed to voting suppression in the United States. Through their inquiry students will explore ways to increase voter participation withing the study body and their immediate communities.
This curriculum unit is designed to be taught in a 12th grade U.S. Government class, but can be adapted for 11th grade Advanced Placement United States History and 11th grade United States History.
(Developed for A.P. U. S. History, grade 11, and A.P. U. S. Government and Politics, grade 12; recommended for U. S. History, grade 11, and Government, grade 12)