Who Can Vote? A Brief History of Voting Rights in the US

A photo of the exhibit on display in the lobby of the library.

Exhibit Info


Who Can Vote? A Brief History of Voting Rights in the US


November 27, 2023 to January 5, 2023


First Floor Lobby


This exhibition examines voting rights with an emphasis on the role of the US Constitution and the interplay between the states and federal government in determining who is allowed to vote. Beginning with the founding era and going up to the election of 2000, this exhibition explores the complex history of the right to vote that forms the core of our nation’s democracy. Topics include voting as a constitutional right, women’s suffrage, Reconstruction and Jim Crow era voting rights, the Civil Rights Movement, and the enfranchisement of Indigenous peoples.

This exhibit coincides with our second annual Public Humanities Forum, focused this year on the theme of Democracy and Journalism and scheduled for Dec. 2 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. This special event brings together historians, journalists, and political theorists to explore not only how democracies establish an open forum where the truth may be contested and investigated by journalistic institutions, but also the ways in which journalism promotes democracy and the culture upon which democracy depends.

The exhibit was developed by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History with the generous support of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.

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