Suffrage, political franchise, or simply franchise is the right to vote in public, political elections (although the term is sometimes used for any right to vote).In some languages, and occasionally in English, the right to vote is called active suffrage, as distinct from passive suffrage, which is the right to stand for election. The combination of active and passive suffrage is sometimes called full suffrage.
Suffrage is often conceived in terms of elections for representatives. However, suffrage applies equally to referenda and initiatives. Suffrage describes not only the legal right to vote, but also the practical question of whether a question will be put to a vote. The utility of suffrage is reduced when important questions are decided unilaterally without extensive, conscientious, full disclosure and public review.
Representative democracy is a type of democracy founded on the principle of elected officials representing a group of people, as opposed to direct democracy. Nearly all modern Western-style democracies are types of representative democracies; for example, the United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy, France is a unitary state, and the United States is a federal republic.
A referendum is a direct vote in which an entire electorate is invited to vote on a particular proposal. This may result in the adoption of a new law. In some countries, it is synonymous with a plebiscite or a vote on a ballot question.
In political science, an initiative is a means by which a petition signed by a certain minimum number of registered voters can force a government to choose to either enact a law or hold a public vote in parliament in what is called indirect initiative, or under direct initiative, the proposition is immediately put to a plebiscite or referendum, in what is called a Popular initiated Referendum or citizen-initiated referendum).
In most democracies, eligible voters can vote in elections of representatives. Voting on issues by referendum may also be available. For example, in Switzerland this is permitted at all levels of government. In the United States, some states such as California and Washington have exercised their shared sovereignty to offer citizens the opportunity to write, propose, and vote on referendums and initiatives; other states and the federal government have not. Referendums in the United Kingdom are rare.
In the United States, a state is a constituent political entity, of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a political union, each state holds governmental jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory and shares its sovereignty with the federal government. Due to this shared sovereignty, Americans are citizens both of the federal republic and of the state in which they reside. State citizenship and residency are flexible, and no government approval is required to move between states, except for persons restricted by certain types of court orders. Four states use the term commonwealth rather than state in their full official names.
Referendums in the United Kingdom are occasionally held at a national, regional or local level. National referendums can be permitted by an Act of Parliament and regulated through the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000, but they are by tradition extremely rare due to the principle of parliamentary sovereignty meaning that they cannot be constitutionally binding on either the Government or Parliament, although they usually have a persuasive political effect.
Suffrage is granted to qualifying citizens once they have reached the voting age. What constitutes a qualifying citizen depends on the government's decision. Resident non-citizens can vote in some countries, which may be restricted to citizens of closely linked countries (e.g., Commonwealth citizens and European Union citizens) or to certain offices or questions.
A voting age is a minimum age established by law that a person must attain before they become eligible to vote in a public election. Today, the most common voting age is 18 years; however, voting ages as low as 16 and as high as 25 currently exist. Most countries have set a minimum voting age, often set in their constitution. In a number of countries voting is compulsory for those eligible to vote, while in most it is optional.
In most countries, suffrage, the right to vote, is generally limited to citizens of the country. Some countries, however, extend voting rights to resident non-citizens. Such voting rights extended to non-citizens are often restricted or limited in some ways, with the details of the restrictions or limitations varying from one country to another. Voting rights to non-citizens may or may not extend to a right to run for an elected or other public office.
The word suffrage comes from Latin suffragium, meaning "vote", "political support", and the right to vote.The etymology of the Latin word is uncertain, with some sources citing Latin suffragari "lend support, vote for someone", from sub "under" + fragor "crash, din, shouts (as of approval)", related to frangere "to break" (related to fraction and fractious "quarrelsome"). Other sources say that attempts to connect suffragium with fragor cannot be taken seriously. Some etymologists think the word may be related to suffrago and may have originally meant an ankle bone or knuckle bone.
Latin is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. The Latin alphabet is derived from the Etruscan and Greek alphabets and ultimately from the Phoenician alphabet.
Universal suffrage consists of the right to vote without restriction due to sex, race, social status, education level, or wealth. It typically does not extend the right to vote to all residents of a region; distinctions are frequently made in regard to citizenship, age, and occasionally mental capacity or criminal convictions.
The concept of universal suffrage, also known as general suffrage or common suffrage, consists of the right to vote of all adult citizens, regardless of property ownership, wealth, income, race, or ethnicity, subject only to minor exceptions. In its original 19th-century usage by political reformers, universal suffrage was understood to mean only universal manhood suffrage; the vote was extended to women later, during the women's suffrage movement.
Residency is the act of establishing or maintaining a residence in a given place. Residency is a concept which heavily affects the legal rights and responsibilities that are available to a person, including eligibility to vote, eligibility to stand for political office, eligibility to access government services, responsibility to pay taxes, and on and so forth.
Citizenship is the status of a person recognized under the custom or law as being a legal member of a sovereign state or belonging to a nation.
The short-lived Corsican Republic (1755–1769) was the first country to grant limited universal suffrage to all citizens over the age of 25.
In 1819 60-80,000 men and women from 30 miles around Manchester assembled in the city's St. Peter's Square to protest their lack of any representation in the Houses of Parliament. Historian Robert Poole has called the Peterloo Massacre one of the defining moments of its age.The film Peterloo (The Movie) featured a scene of women suffragists planning their contribution to the protest.
This was followed by other experiments in the Paris Commune of 1871 and the island republic of Franceville (1889). The 1840 constitution of the Kingdom of Hawai'i granted universal suffrage to all male and female adults. In 1893, when the Kingdom of Hawai'i was overthrown in a coup, New Zealand became the only independent country to practice universal (active) suffrage, and the Freedom in the World index lists New Zealand as the only free country in the world in 1893.
Women's suffrage is, by definition, the right of women to vote.This was the goal of the suffragists, who believed in using legal means and the suffragettes, who used extremist measures. Short-lived suffrage equity was drafted into provisions of the State of New Jersey's first, 1776 Constitution, which extended the Right to Vote to unwed female landholders & black land owners.
"IV. That all inhabitants of this Colony, of full age, who are worth fifty pounds proclamation money, clear estate in the same, and have resided within the county in which they claim a vote for twelve months immediately preceding the election, shall be entitled to vote for Representatives in Council and Assembly; and also for all other public officers, that shall be elected by the people of the county at large." New Jersey 1776
However, the document did not specify an Amendment procedure, and the provision was subsequently replaced in 1844 by the adoption of the succeeding constitution, which reverted to "all white male" suffrage restrictions.
Although the Kingdom of Hawai'i granted female suffrage in 1840, the right was rescinded in 1852. Limited voting rights were gained by some women in Sweden, Britain, and some western U.S. states in the 1860s. In 1893, the British colony of New Zealand became the first self-governing nation to extend the right to vote to all adult women. In 1894 the women of South Australia achieved the right to both vote and stand for Parliament. The autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland in the Russian Empire was the first nation to allow all women to both vote and run for parliament.
Those against the women's suffrage movement made public organizations to put down the political movement, with the main argument being that a woman's place was in the home, not polls. Political cartoons and public outrage over women's rights increased as the opposition to suffrage worked day and night to organize legitimate groups campaigning against women's voting rights. The Massachusetts Association Opposed to the Further Extension of Suffrage to Women was one organization that came out of the 1880's to put down the voting efforts.
Many anti-suffrage propaganda poked fun at the idea of women in politics. Political cartoons displayed the most sentiment by portraying the issue of women's suffrage to be swapped with men's lives. Some mocked the popular suffrage hairstyle of full-upward combed hair. Others depicted young girls turning into suffragettes after a failure in life, such as not being married.
Equal suffrage is sometimes confused with Universal suffrage, although the meaning of the former is the removal of graded votes, wherein a voter could possess a number of votes in accordance with income, wealth or social status.
Also known as "censitary suffrage", the opposite of equal suffrage, meaning that the votes cast by those eligible to vote are not equal, but are weighed differently according to the person's rank in the census (e.g., people with higher education have more votes than those with lower education, or a stockholder in a company with more shares has more votes than someone with fewer shares). Suffrage may therefore be limited, but can still be universal.
Where compulsory suffrage exists, those who are eligible to vote are required by law to do so. Thirty-two countries currently practise this form of suffrage.
In local government in England and some of its ex-colonies, businesses formerly had, and in some places still have, a vote in the urban area in which they paid rates. This is an extension of the historical property-based franchise from natural persons to other legal persons.
In the United Kingdom, the Corporation of the City of London has retained and even expanded business vote, following the passing of the City of London (Ward Elections) Act 2002. This has given business interests within the City of London, which is a major financial centre with few residents, the opportunity to apply the accumulated wealth of the corporation to the development of an effective lobby for UK policies.This includes having the City Remembrancer, financed by the City's Cash, as a Parliamentary agent, provided with a special seat in the House of Commons located in the under-gallery facing the Speaker's chair. In a leaked document from 2012, an official report concerning the City's Cash revealed that the aim of major occasions such as set-piece sumptious banquets featuring national politicians was "to increase the emphasis on complementing hospitality with business meetings consistent with the City corporation's role in supporting the City as a financial centre".
The first issue taken up by the Northern Ireland civil rights movement was the business vote, abolished in 1968.
In the Republic of Ireland, commercial ratepayerscan vote in local plebiscites, for changing the name of the locality or street, or delimiting a business improvement district. From 1930 to 1935, 5 of 35 members of Dublin City Council were "commercial members".
In cities in most Australian states, voting is optional for businesses but compulsory for individuals.
In ancient Athens, often cited as the birthplace of democracy, only adult, male citizens who owned land were permitted to vote. Through subsequent centuries, Europe was generally ruled by monarchs, though various forms of parliament arose at different times. The high rank ascribed to abbesses within the Catholic Church permitted some women the right to sit and vote at national assemblies – as with various high-ranking abbesses in Medieval Germany, who were ranked among the independent princes of the empire. Their Protestant successors enjoyed the same privilege almost into modern times.
Marie Guyart, a French nun who worked with the First Nations peoples of Canada during the seventeenth century, wrote in 1654 regarding the suffrage practices of Iroquois women, "These female chieftains are women of standing amongst the savages, and they have a deciding vote in the councils. They make decisions there like the men, and it is they who even delegated the first ambassadors to discuss peace."The Iroquois, like many First Nations peoples in North America, had a matrilineal kinship system. Property and descent were passed through the female line. Women elders voted on hereditary male chiefs and could depose them.
The emergence of modern democracy generally began with male citizens obtaining the right to vote in advance of female citizens, except in the Kingdom of Hawai'i, where universal manhood and women's suffrage was introduced in 1840; however, a constitutional amendment in 1852 rescinded female voting and put property qualifications on male voting.
Voting rights for women were introduced into international law by the United Nations' Human Rights Commission, whose elected chair was Eleanor Roosevelt. In 1948 the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; Article 21 stated: "(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives. (3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures."
The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Political Rights of Women, which went into force in 1954, enshrining the equal rights of women to vote, hold office, and access public services as set out by national laws. One of the most recent jurisdictions to acknowledge women's full right to vote was Bhutan in 2008 (its first national elections). Most recently, in 2011 King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia let women vote in the 2015 local elections (and from then on) and be appointed to the Consultative Assembly.
In the aftermath of the Reformation it was common in European countries for people of disfavored religious denominations to be denied civil and political rights, often including the right to vote, to stand for election or to sit in parliament. In Great Britain and Ireland, Roman Catholics were denied the right to vote from 1728 to 1793, and the right to sit in parliament until 1829. The anti-Catholic policy was justified on the grounds that the loyalty of Catholics supposedly lay with the Pope rather than the national monarch.
In England and Ireland, several Acts practically disenfranchised non-Anglicans or non-Protestants by imposing an oath before admission to vote or to stand for office. The 1672 and 1678 Test Acts forbade non-Anglicans to hold public offices, and the 1727 Disenfranchising Act took away Catholics' voting rights in Ireland, which were restored only in 1788. Jews could not even be naturalized. An attempt was made to change this situation, but the Jewish Naturalization Act 1753 provoked such reactions that it was repealed the following year. Nonconformists (Methodists and Presbyterians) were only allowed to run for election to the British House of Commons starting in 1828, Catholics in 1829 (following the Catholic Relief Act 1829, which extended the Roman Catholic Relief Act 1791), and Jews in 1858 (with the Emancipation of the Jews in England). Benjamin Disraeli could only begin his political career in 1837 because he had been converted to Anglicanism at the age of 12.
In several states in the U.S. after the Declaration of Independence, Jews, Quakers or Catholics were denied voting rights and/or forbidden to run for office.The Delaware Constitution of 1776 stated that "Every person who shall be chosen a member of either house, or appointed to any office or place of trust, before taking his seat, or entering upon the execution of his office, shall (…) also make and subscribe the following declaration, to wit: I, A B. do profess faith in God the Father, and in Jesus Christ His only Son, and in the Holy Ghost, one God, blessed for evermore; and I do acknowledge the holy scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by divine inspiration." This was repealed by article I, section 2 of the 1792 Constitution: "No religious test shall be required as a qualification to any office, or public trust, under this State". The 1778 Constitution of the State of South Carolina stated that "No person shall be eligible to sit in the house of representatives unless he be of the Protestant religion", the 1777 Constitution of the State of Georgia (art. VI) that "The representatives shall be chosen out of the residents in each county (…) and they shall be of the Protestent (sic) religion". In Maryland, voting rights and eligibility were extended to Jews in 1828.
In Canada, several religious groups (Mennonites, Hutterites, Doukhobors) were disenfranchised by the wartime Elections Act of 1917, mainly because they opposed military service. This disenfranchisement ended with the closure of the First World War, but was renewed for Doukhobors from 1934 (via the Dominion Elections Act) to 1955.
The first Constitution of modern Romania in 1866 provided in article 7 that only Christians could become Romanian citizens. Jews native to Romania were declared stateless persons. In 1879, under pressure from the Berlin Peace Conference, this article was amended, granting non-Christians the right to become Romanian citizens, but naturalization was granted on a case-by-case basis and was subject to Parliamentary approval. An application took over ten years to process. Only in 1923 was a new constitution adopted, whose article 133 extended Romanian citizenship to all Jewish residents and equality of rights to all Romanian citizens.
Until the nineteenth century, many Western proto-democracies had property qualifications in their electoral laws; e.g. only landowners could vote (because the only tax for such countries was the property tax), or the voting rights were weighted according to the amount of taxes paid (as in the Prussian three-class franchise). Most countries abolished the property qualification for national elections in the late nineteenth century, but retained it for local government elections for several decades. Today these laws have largely been abolished, although the homeless may not be able to register because they lack regular addresses.
In the United Kingdom, until the House of Lords Act 1999, peers who were members of the House of Lords were excluded from voting for the House of Commons because they were not commoners. Although there is nothing to prevent the monarch from voting it is considered unconstitutional for the monarch to vote in an election.
Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, many nations made voters pay on to elect officials, keeping impoverished people from being fully enfranchised. These laws were in effect in: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
Sometimes the right to vote has been limited to people who had achieved a certain level of education or passed a certain test. In some US states, "literacy tests" were previously implemented to exclude those who were illiterate. [ clarification needed ]This disproportionately affected poor and black people, who were systemically denied access to the same educational opportunities as the white and rich people. Under the 1961 constitution of Rhodesia, voting on the "A" roll, which elected up to 50 of the 65 members of parliament, was restricted based on education requirements, which in practice led to an overwhelming white vote. Voting on the "B" roll had universal suffrage, but only appointed 15 members of parliament.
In the 20th century, many countries other than the US placed voting restrictions on illiterate people, including: Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, and Peru.
Various countries, usually countries with a dominant race within a wider population, have historically denied the vote to people of particular races, or to all but the dominant race. This has been achieved in a number of ways:
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All modern democracies require voters to meet age qualifications to vote. Worldwide voting ages are not consistent, differing between countries and even within countries, though the range usually varies between 16 and 21 years. Demeny voting has been proposed as a form of proxy voting by parents on behalf of their children who are below the age of suffrage. The movement to lower the voting age is one aspect of the Youth rights movement.
Some countries restrict the voting rights of convicted criminals. Some countries, and some U.S. states, also deny the right to vote to those convicted of serious crimes even after they are released from prison. In some cases (e.g. in many U.S. states) the denial of the right to vote is automatic upon a felony conviction; in other cases (e.g. France and Germany) deprivation of the vote is meted out separately, and often limited to perpetrators of specific crimes such as those against the electoral system or corruption of public officials. In the Republic of Ireland, prisoners are allowed the right to vote, following the Hirst v UK (No2) ruling, which was granted in 2006. Canada allowed only prisoners serving a term of less than 2 years the right to vote, but this was found to be unconstitutional in 2002 by the Supreme Court of Canada in Sauvé v. Canada (Chief Electoral Officer) , and all prisoners have been allowed to vote as of the 2004 Canadian federal election.
Under certain electoral systems elections are held within subnational jurisdictions, thus preventing persons from voting who would otherwise be eligible on the basis that they do not reside within such a jurisdiction, or because they live in an area that cannot participate. In the United States, residents of Washington, D.C. receive no voting representation in Congress, although they do have full representation in presidential elections, based on the Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution adopted in 1961. Residents of Puerto Rico enjoy neither.
Sometimes citizens become ineligible to vote because they are no longer resident in their country of citizenship. For example, Australian citizens who have been outside Australia for more than one and fewer than six years may excuse themselves from the requirement to vote in Australian elections while they remain outside Australia (voting in Australia is compulsory for resident citizens).Danish citizens that reside permanently outside Denmark lose their right to vote.
In some cases, a certain period of residence in a locality may required for the right to vote in that location. For example, in the United Kingdom up to 2001, each 15 February a new electoral register came into effect, based on registration as of the previous 10 October, with the effect of limiting voting to those resident five to seventeen months earlier depending on the timing of the election.
In most countries, suffrage is limited to citizens and, in many cases, permanent residents of that country. However, some members of supra-national organisations such as the Commonwealth of Nations and the European Union have granted voting rights to citizens of all countries within that organisation. Until the mid-twentieth century, many Commonwealth countries gave the vote to all British citizens within the country, regardless of whether they were normally resident there. In most cases this was because there was no distinction between British and local citizenship. Several countries qualified this with restrictions preventing non-white British citizens such as Indians and British Africans from voting. Under European Union law, citizens of European Union countries can vote in each other's local and European Parliament elections on the same basis as citizens of the country in question, but usually not in national elections.
In some countries, naturalized citizens do not have the right to vote or to be a candidate, either permanently or for a determined period.
Article 5 of the 1831 Belgian Constitution made a difference between ordinary naturalization, and grande naturalisation. Only (former) foreigners who had been granted grande naturalisation were entitled to vote, be a candidate for parliamentary elections, or be appointed minister. However, ordinary naturalized citizens could vote for municipal elections.Ordinary naturalized citizens and citizens who had acquired Belgian nationality through marriage could vote, but not run as candidates for parliamentary elections in 1976. The concepts of ordinary and grande naturalization were suppressed from the Constitution in 1991.
In France, the 1889 Nationality Law barred those who had acquired the French nationality by naturalization or marriage from voting, and from eligibility and access to several public jobs. In 1938 the delay was reduced to five years.[clarification needed] These instances of discrimination, as well as others against naturalized citizens, were gradually abolished in 1973 (9 January 1973 law) and 1983.
In Morocco, a former French protectorate, and in Guinea, a former French colony, naturalized citizens are prohibited from voting for five years following their naturalization.
In the Federated States of Micronesia, one must be a Micronesian citizen for at least 15 years to run for parliament.
In Nicaragua, Peru and the Philippines, only citizens by birth are eligible for being elected to the national legislature; naturalized citizens enjoy only voting rights.
In Uruguay, naturalized citizens have the right of eligibility to the parliament after five years.
In the United States, the President and Vice President must be natural-born citizens. All other governmental offices may be held by any citizen, although citizens may only run for Congress after an extended period of citizenship (seven years for the House of Representatives and nine for the Senate).
In France, an 1872 law, rescinded only by a 1945 decree, prohibited all army personnel from voting.
In Ireland, police (the Garda Síochána and, before 1925, the Dublin Metropolitan Police) were barred from voting in national elections, though not local elections, from 1923 to 1960.
The 1876 Constitution of Texas (article VI, section 1) stated that "The following classes of persons shall not be allowed to vote in this State, to wit: (…) Fifth—All soldiers, marines and seamen, employed in the service of the army or navy of the United States."
In many countries with a presidential system of government a person is forbidden to be a legislator and an official of the executive branch at the same time. Such provisions are found, for example, in Article I of the U.S. Constitution.
See also: Timeline of women's suffrage, Timeline of women's suffrage in the United States, Voting age
In 1840, the Kingdom of Hawai'i adopted full suffrage to all adults, including women, but in 1852 rescinded female voting. In 1902 the Commonwealth Franchise Act enabled women to vote federally in Australia and in the state of New South Wales. This legislation also allowed women to run for government, making Australia the first in the world to allow this. In 1906 Finland became the next nation in the world to give all adult citizens full suffrage, in other words the right to vote and to run for office. New Zealand granted all adult citizens the right to vote (in 1893), but women did not get the right to run for the New Zealand legislature until 1919.
(see Canadian women during the world wars for more information on Canadian suffrage)
The European Union has given the right to vote in municipal elections to the citizen of another EU country by the Council Directive 94/80/EG from the 19th of December 1994.
In 1840, the king of Hawai'i issued a constitution that granted universal suffrage, both for females and males, but later amendments added restrictions, as the influence of Caucasian settlers increased:
Hawai'i lost its independence in 1893, when American marines landed and forced the reigning queen to abdicate.
Minimum age to vote was reduced from 21 to 18 years in 1995. The Basic Law, the constitution of the territory since 1997, stipulates that all permanent residents (a status conferred by birth or by seven years of residence) have the right to vote. The right of permanent residents who have right of abode in other countries to stand in election is, however, restricted to 12 functional constituencies by the Legislative Council Ordinance of 1997.
The right to vote and the right to stand in elections are not equal. Fewer than 250,000 of the electorate are eligible to run in the 30 functional constituencies, of which 23 are elected by fewer than 80,000 of the electorate, and in the 2008 Legislative Council election 14 members were elected unopposed from these functional constituencies. The size of the electorates of some constituencies is fewer than 200. Only persons who can demonstrate a connection to the sector are eligible to run in a functional constituency.
The Legislative Council (Amendment) Bill 2012, if passed, amends the Legislative Council Ordinance to restrict the right to stand in Legislative Council by-elections in geographical constituencies and the District Council (Second) functional constituency. In addition to those persons who are mentally disabled, bankrupt, or imprisoned, members who resign their seats will not have the right to stand for six months' time from their resignation. The bill is currently passing through the committee stage.
Since the very first Indian general election held in 1951–52, universal suffrage for all adult citizens aged 21 or older was established under Article 326 of the Constitution of India. The minimum voting age was reduced to 18 years by the 61st Amendment, effective 28 March 1989.
The Supreme Court states that "the rules derogating from the passive electoral law must be strictly interpreted".
From 1265, a few percent of the adult male population in the Kingdom of England (of which Wales was a full and equal member from 1542) were able to vote in parliamentary elections that occurred at irregular intervals to the Parliament of England.The franchise for the Parliament of Scotland developed separately. King Henry VI of England established in 1432 that only owners of property worth at least forty shillings, a significant sum, were entitled to vote in an English county constituency. The franchise was restricted to males by custom rather than statute. Changes were made to the details of the system, but there was no major reform until the Reform Act 1832. A series of Reform Acts and Representation of the People Acts followed. In 1918, all men over 21 and some women over 30 won the right to vote, and in 1928 all women over 21 won the right to vote resulting in universal suffrage.
The Constitution did not originally define who was eligible to vote, allowing each state to decide this status. In the early history of the U.S., most states allowed only white male adult property owners to vote (about 6% of the population).By 1856 property ownership requirements were eliminated in all states, giving suffrage to most white men. However, tax-paying requirements remained in five states until 1860 and in two states until the 20th century.
After the Civil War, five amendments to the Constitution were expressly addressed to the "right to vote"; these amendments limit the basis upon which the right to vote in any U.S. state or other jurisdiction may be abridged or denied.
Full removal of racial disenfranchisement of citizens was not secured until the Voting Rights Act of 1965 gained passage through Congress following the Civil Rights Movement. For state elections, it was not until the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections (1966) that all state poll taxes were declared unconstitutional as violating the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. This removed a burden on the poor, including some poor whites who had been disenfranchised.
Disfranchisement is the revocation of suffrage of a person or group of people, or through practices, prevention of a person exercising the right to vote. Disfranchisement is also termed to the revocation of power or control of a particular individual, community or being to the natural amenity they are abound in; that is to deprive of a franchise, of a legal right, of some privilege or inherent immunity. Disfranchisement may be accomplished explicitly by law or implicitly through requirements applied in a discriminatory fashion, intimidation, or by placing unreasonable requirements on voters for registration or voting.
Women's suffrage is the right of women to vote in elections. Beginning in the late 1800s, women worked for broad-based economic and political equality and for social reforms, and sought to change voting laws in order to allow them to vote. National and international organizations formed to coordinate efforts to gain voting rights, especially the International Woman Suffrage Alliance, and also worked for equal civil rights for women.
The issue of voting rights in the United States, specifically the enfranchisement and disenfranchisement of different groups, has been contested throughout United States history.
The Ninth Amendment of the Constitution Act 1984 is an amendment to the Constitution of Ireland that allowed for the extension of the right to vote in elections to Dáil Éireann to non-Irish citizens. It was approved by referendum on 14 June 1984, the same day as the European Parliament election, and signed into law on 2 August of the same year.
Elections in South Africa are held for the National Assembly, provincial legislatures and municipal councils. Elections follow a five-year cycle, with national and provincial elections held simultaneously and municipal elections held two years later. The electoral system is based on party-list proportional representation, which means that parties are represented in proportion to their electoral support. For municipal councils there is a mixed-member system in which wards elect individual councillors alongside those named from party lists.
Women's suffrage – the right of women to vote – has been achieved at various times in countries throughout the world. In many nations, women's suffrage was granted before universal suffrage, so women and men from certain classes or races were still unable to vote. Some countries granted suffrage to both sexes at the same time. This timeline lists years when women's suffrage was enacted. Some countries are listed more than once, as the right was extended to more women according to age, land ownership, etc. In many cases, the first voting took place in a subsequent year.
The Representation of the People Act 1928 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. This act expanded on the Representation of the People Act 1918 which had given some women the vote in Parliamentary elections for the first time after World War I. The 1928 Act widened suffrage by giving women electoral equality with men. It gave the vote to all women over 21 years old, regardless of property ownership. Prior to this act only women over 30 who met minimum property qualifications could vote. Similar provision was made for the Parliament of Northern Ireland by the Representation of the People Act 1928.
The Commonwealth Franchise Act 1902 was an Act of the Parliament of Australia which defined a uniform national criteria of who was entitled to vote in Australian federal elections. The Act established universal suffrage for federal elections for those who are British subjects over 21 years of age who have lived in Australia for six months, with some qualifications. It granted Australian women the right to vote at a national level, and to stand for election to the Parliament.
The Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 is an Act of the Australian Parliament which continues to be the core legislation governing the conduct of elections in Australia, having been amended on numerous occasions since 1918. The Act was introduced by the Nationalist Party of Billy Hughes, the main purpose of which was to replace first-past-the-post voting with instant-runoff voting for the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Voting in New Zealand was introduced after colonisation by British settlers.
The voting rights of Indigenous Australians became an issue from the mid-19th century, when responsible government was being granted to Britain's Australian colonies, and suffrage qualifications were being debated. The resolution of universal rights progressed into the mid-20th century.
Black suffrage is Black people's right to vote. Black suffrage has been at issue in countries established under conditions of white supremacy. It may be limited through official or informal discrimination. In many places, black people have obtained suffrage through national independence. It should also be pointed out that "Black suffrage" in the United States in the aftermath of the American Civil War explicitly refers to "Black Male Suffrage". While women citizens, regardless of race, held rights to vote in some states, at the federal level, the U.S. Constitution was not interpreted to prohibit discrimination against women in voting, regardless of their race, until the passage of the 19th Amendment which was ratified by the United States Congress on August 18 and then certified by law on August 26, 1920.
Women's suffrage in Australia was one of the earliest objectives and the of the movement for gender equality in Australia. It began to be socially and politically accepted and legislated during the late 19th century, beginning with South Australia in 1894 and Western Australia in 1899. In 1902, the newly established Australian Parliament passed the Commonwealth Franchise Act 1902, which set a uniform law enabling women to vote at federal elections and to stand for the federal Parliament. This removed gender discrimination in relation to electoral rights for federal elections in Australia. By 1911, the remaining Australian states had legislated for women's suffrage for state elections. It took longer before women could stand for parliament throughout Australia and even longer before they were actually elected.
Suffrage in Australia refers to the right to vote for people living in Australia, including all its six component states and territories, as well as local councils. The colonies of Australia began to grant universal male suffrage during the 1850s and women's suffrage followed between the 1890s and 1900s. Today, the right to vote at federal, state and local levels of government is enjoyed by all citizens of Australia over the age of 18 years.
The Women's Enfranchisement Act, 1930, was an act of the Parliament of South Africa which granted white women aged 21 and older the right to vote and to run for office. It also had the effect of diluting the limited voting power of non-white people by effectively doubling the number of white voters. It was enacted by the National Party government of Prime Minister J. B. M. Hertzog.
An unfair election is a concept used by national and international election monitoring groups to identify when the vote of the people for a government is not free and fair. Unfairness in elections encompasses all varieties of electoral fraud, voter suppression or intimidation, unbalanced campaign finance rules, and imbalanced access to the media. Unfair elections violate the right to vote, which is generally recognised as an essential element to a Deliberative democracy and representative democracy.
The basic law of the electoral franchise in the Republic of Ireland is Article 16 of the Constitution of Ireland, which states who can vote for Dáil Éireann, the lower house of the Oireachtas or parliament. Irish citizens who are Dáil electors have the right to vote in all other elections, though not conversely.
This is a timeline of voting rights in the United States.
One of the important proposals is contained in Section 3 and in the Schedule which provides for the repeal of the prohibition on the registration of Gardaí as voters at Dáil elections. In future, if this provision is enacted, Gardaí can vote at Dáil and Presidential elections and at referenda.
By 1840, only three states retained a property qualification, North Carolina (for some state-wide offices only), Rhode Island, and Virginia. In 1856 North Carolina was the last state to end the practice. Tax-paying qualifications were also gone in all but a few states by the Civil War, but they survived into the 20th century in Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
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