Voting and Elections in American History (Teacher Seminar Online)

Voting and Elections in American History, 1788–2020

Lead Scholar: Allan J. Lichtman, American University
Master Teacher: Alysha Butler
Partner Organization: The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Institute
Live Session Dates: Week of July 29
Registration Deadline: Monday, July 22


Image Source: "The Map Proves It," ca. 1914 (The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, GLC09773)

Close up view of Women's Suffrage Map
  • New for 2024

  • 24 PD Credits

Seminar Description

For most of American history, the right to vote has been a privilege restricted by wealth, sex, race, and literacy. Economic qualifications were finally eliminated in the nineteenth century, but the ideal of a White man’s republic persisted long after that. Women and racial minorities had to fight hard and creatively to secure their voices. This seminar examines the history of voting and elections in America from the constitutional era through the present from an interdisciplinary perspective. It explores both theories of voting and elections and struggles for the vote by minority peoples, women, and other groups. These struggles have taken place in the streets, in the halls of legislatures, and in courtrooms. The seminar concludes by investigating recent threats to American democracy and considering ways to improve access to voting and ensure the conduct of free and fair elections in the United States.

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Live Zoom Sessions

Monday, July 29: 6:00 pm ET to 8:00 pm ET

  • Scholar Q&A
  • Pedagogy Session

Tuesday, July 30: 6:00 pm ET to 8:00 pm ET

  • Scholar Q&A
  • Reagan Foundation Session

Wednesday, July 31: 6:00 pm ET to 8:00 pm ET

  • Scholar Q&A
  • Pedagogy Session

Thursday, August 1: 6:00 pm ET to 8:00 pm ET

  • Reagan Foundation Session
  • Final Open Discussion

Project Team


Allan J. Lichtman, Lead Scholar

Allan Lichtman is a Distinguished Professor of History at American University. His book White Protestant Nation: The Rise of the American Conservative Movement (2008) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in nonfiction. FDR and the Jews (2013, co-authored with Richard Breitman) won the National Jewish Book Award Prize in American Jewish History and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in history. Lichtman’s prediction system, The Keys to the White House, has correctly predicted the outcomes of all US presidential elections since 1984.


Alysha Butler, Master Teacher

Alysha Butler is a veteran social studies teacher who currently teaches US History and AP African American Studies in the District of Columbia. She graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a BA and MA in History. She was recognized as the 2019 History Teacher of the Year by the Daughters of the American Revolution for the District of Columbia and the 2019 National History Teacher of the Year by the Gilder Lehrman Institute for her innovative lessons and civics-based student projects. In 2023 she was awarded the Margaret Sue Copenhaver Contribution to Education Award. Alysha has presented at conferences hosted by the National Council for the Social Studies, the Council of Chief State School Officers Social Studies Collaborative, and the Middle States Council for Social Studies and published numerous essays and articles in historical journals.

Made possible with the support of our partner

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The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Institute

This seminar is held in partnership with the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Institute. The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Institute is dedicated to cultivating the next generation of citizen-leaders through programs, scholarships, immersive experiences, and primary source-based curriculum from the Reagan Archives.


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