Voting in Los Angeles as a matter of history pretty much tracks the voting requirements through the years in the United States. At first only white male landowners were permitted to vote. Then when the 15th Amendment to the US constitution prohibited the denial of voting based on race, there were poll taxes and literacy tests which limited the right to vote. In 1920 the 19th Amendment allowed the woman’s vote. In 1965 The Voting Rights Act was passed by Congress to curtail all forms of voting suppression. In 1971 the voting age nationally was lowered from 21 to 18 years. Thereafter, there were rules passed to protect the rights to vote of persons who did not speak English and those who suffered from disabilities. The later Motor Voter Act and the mail in ballots were designed to make it easier to vote. The right to vote remains a cornerstone of our representative government and requires vigilance to be sure that one person one vote is maintained.

If you enjoy reading these vignettes each month, you may want to check out my father-in-law’s book, Westside Stories. It’s a memoir/history of growing up on the Westside of Los Angeles in the 1940s and 1950s with great photos, anecdotes and stories. Perfect for the history buff/enthusiast in your family! It’s available for purchase on Amazon, just search for Westside Stories by Michael Harris.