The Right to Vote: The Role of States and the US Constitution


The Institute has produced a seven-panel traveling exhibition and a four-part digital exhibition on the history of voting rights from the Constitution to the present day. The digital exhibition further supports the traveling exhibition through audiovisual elements and interactive maps to tell the story of voting and federalism.

Image from illustrated 19th-century magazine showing line of Black men casting their vote

Traveling Exhibition: Who Can Vote? A Brief History of Voting Rights in the US

This traveling exhibition examines voting rights with an emphasis on the role of the US Constitution and the interplay between the states and federal government in determining who is allowed to vote. From the founding era to the election of 2000, this exhibition explores the complex history of the right to vote that forms the core of our nation’s democracy. Topics include voting as a constitutional right, women’s suffrage, Reconstruction and Jim Crow era voting rights, the Civil Rights Movement, and the enfranchisement of Indigenous peoples. 

Rent Who Can Vote?

Bring our traveling exhibition to your school, library, museum, or other site for a four-week period, starting July 2024. 

Who Can Vote panels


The Right to Vote Resource Suite


Read scholarly perspectives on the history of voting rights through essays geared to high school students

Lesson Plans

Learn how individuals and groups attempted to expand access to the vote in "Taking a Stand for Voting Rights: Six States, Six Stories, One Goal."

Digital Exhibitions

Explore our four-part digital exhibition on the history of voting rights, which includes audiovisual elements and interactive maps