Wednesday, February 3, 2010
The Right To Vote
The Fifteenth Amendment to the constitution was the third of the Reconstruction Amendments. It prohibited governments in the United States from using race, or prior position of slavery in regards to voting qualification. The original draft of the amendment guaranteed a right vote and hold office to all male citizens of the United States, but a House and Senate conference committee removed the office holding guarantee. It also left the right for States to impose literacy tests and poll taxes. The Amendment passed the Senate with 39 for, 13 against and 14 absent, the House vote was 144 for, 44 against and 35 absent. The Amendment was ratified on February 3rd 1870. After the amendment was adopted, the first African American to vote was Thomas Mundy Peterson on March 31st 1870 in Perth Amboy New Jersey.