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Civic Engagement and Voting: Voting Rights

This guide shares resources and strategies for learning about socio political issues in order to vote or otherwise participate in civic discourse. It also details local resources for getting involved as well at UNLV and local events.

Voting Rights

It is important to remember that the ability to vote was earned through revolution and advocacy. This page of the guide outlines our current voting rights, some voting rights history, and reasons to put those rights into action and vote!

Resources / books / videos

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Your Rights as a Voter

There are clear laws and guidelines outlining what is and is not allowed surrounding an election in order to protect the right to vote. Notable rights include:

  • To vote without being intimidated, threatened or coerced.
  • To a sample ballot which is accurate, informative and delivered in a timely manner.
  • To have nondiscriminatory equal access to the election system, including, without limitation, a voter who is elderly, disabled, a member of a minority group, employed by the military or a citizen who is overseas.

For more information and an exhaustive list of voting rights visit The US Department of Justice Voting Rights website

Photo by Tom Barrett on Unsplash



Voting rights throughout history

Voting rights have not been guaranteed for all throughout the history of the United States. From the inception of our country until the 1970s, the majority of people living in the United States had to fight for their voices to be heard. When the Constitution granted the right to vote, only white, generally wealthy, landowning men, equaling less than 6% of the population, were allowed voting rights. Over 100 years later in 1920, white women were given the right to vote, and it wasn't until 1965 that all people were able to vote, regardless of their race, ethnicity, education, or economic status. 

Even today, marginalized communities continue to battle against voter suppression in the fight for equality due to redlining and gerrymandering. Voting gives you the power to choose your leaders and engage with the issues you care about; something we should never take for granted. 

Interview with Congressman John Lewis - To hear more about the fight for voting equality, check out this interview with former Congressman John Lewis as he recalls the iconic march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965. 

"Understanding Voting Rights" - from explains why the right to vote is important and why it is important to protect voting rights.

Edmund Pettus Bridge, Selma, Alabama, 1946. Library of Congress

Why you should vote


Why Vote?


Choose your representation

Advocate for what is important to you

Make your voice heard

Every vote counts

Voting is one of the most direct ways we can contribute our voice and perspective to how we want the world around us to run. It is a way to have a say in how we collectively spend our money on community services like education and solutions to challenges like homelessness. By voting we have a direct impact on what our society looks like and who represents us. The leadership in our country at local and federal levels is not representative of the population of the United States, and voting is one way to broaden whose interests are represented in government. 

"Reasons Why You Should Vote as a College Student" - from lists a variety of reasons college students should vote including the fact that voting allows college students to voice their opinion on matters important to them.

"9 Reasons We Need Young Voters More Than Ever" - from gives nine reasons why young people need to vote.


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