Social Studies - 2019-20

CE.5e - History and Requirements of Voter Registration

The student will apply social science skills to understand the political process at the local, state, and national levels of government by

e) examining the history of and requirements for voter registration, and participating in simulated local, state, and/or national elections;

Adopted: 2015



Through legislation and constitutional amendments, different American citizens have been granted the right to vote at different times.

Voting is a basic responsibility of citizenship.

Voter registration is required before a citizen may vote.


Legislation and constitutional amendments

 15th Amendment

 19th Amendment

 23rd Amendment

 24th amendment

 26th Amendment

 Voting Rights Act of 1965

Only citizens who register may participate in primary and general elections.

Qualifications to register to vote in Virginia

 Citizen of the United States

 Resident of Virginia and precinct

 At least 18 years of age by day of general election

How to register to vote in Virginia

 In person at the registrar’s office

 By mail (application obtained from the Department of Motor Vehicles, public libraries, state/local government offices, or other designated locations)

 Online

Voter registration is closed 22 days before elections.

Factors in predicting which citizens will vote

 Education

 Age

 Income

The percentage of voters who participate in presidential elections is usually greater than the percentage of voters who participate in state and local elections.

Reasons why citizens fail to vote

 Lack of interest (in candidates or issues)

 Failure to register

 Belief that vote does not count or will have no impact

 No time or too busy

Every vote is important.

Students can participate in the democratic process by

 participating in campaigns

 participating in classroom and online simulations.


Updated: May 16, 2018