Tocqueville, Democracy In America, Appendix H


Democracy In America, Alexis de Tocqueville, 1831

Appendix H, Summary of the Qualifications of Voters in the United States.


Summary Of The Qualifications Of Voters In The United States

All The States Agree In Granting The Right Of Voting At The Age Of Twenty-One. In All Of Them It Is Necessary To Have Resided For A Certain Time In The District Where The Vote Is Cast. This Period Varies From Three Months To Two Years.

As To Qualifications, In The State Of Massachusetts It Is Necessary To Have An Income Of Three Pounds Sterling, Or A Capital Of Sixty Pounds.

In Rhode Island A Man Must Possess Landed Property To The Amount Of 133 Dollars (704 Francs).

In Connecticut He Must Have Property Which Gives An Income Of Seventeen Dollars (About 90 Francs). A Year Of Service In The Militia Also Gives The Electoral Privilege.

In New Jersey An Elector Must Have A Property Of Fifty Pounds.

In South Carolina And Maryland The Elector Must Possess Fifty Acres Of Land.

In Tennessee He Must Possess Some Property.

In The States Of Mississippi, Ohio, Georgia, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, And New York The Only Necessary Qualification For Voting Is That Of Paying The Taxes; And In Most Of The States, Service In The Militia Is Equivalent To The Payment Of Taxes.

In Maine And New Hampshire Any Man Can Vote Who Is Not On The Pauper List.

Lastly, In The States Of Missouri, Alabama, Illinois, Louisiana, Indiana, Kentucky, And Vermont Voting Requirements Have No Reference To The Property Of The Elector.

I Believe There Is No Other State Beside That Of North Carolina In Which Different Requirements Govern Voting For The Senate And Electing The House Of Representatives. The Electors Of The Former, In This Case, Must Possess A Property Of Fifty Acres Of Land; To Vote For The Latter, Nothing More Is Required Than To Pay Taxes.


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The original copyright for Alexis de Tocqueville’s, “Democracy In America,” Translated by Henry Reeve, 1899, is held in the Public Domain because its copyright has expired. Formatting of this digital copy of Democracy In America Copyright © 2011 Steve Farrell and The Moral Liberal. Non-commercial, educational use of individual chapters is encouraged with a live link back to the original copy at The Moral Liberal and a courtesy note to the editors.