Suffrage and Elections
Wisconsin did not franchise blacks in the state's first constitution. On the other hand, the constitution did not enfranchise them either. The constitution recognized only white males and Indians who had become citizens of the United States as eligible voters. In 1866, the supreme court ruled in Gillespie v. Palmer that the right of suffrage extended to African Americans.
|White citizens of the United States.|
|White persons of foreign birth, who shall have declared their intention to become citizens, conformably to the laws of the United States on the subject of naturalization.|
|Persons of Indian blood, who have once been declared by law of congress to be citizens of the United States, any subsequent law of congress to the contrary notwithstanding.|
|Civilized persons of Indian descent, not members of any tribe. Provided, That the legislature may, at any time, extend by law the right of suffrage to persons not herein enumerated; but no such law shall be in force until the same shall have been submitted to a vote|
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Publication information: Book title: The Black Laws in the Old Northwest:A Documentary History. Contributors: Stephen Middleton - Author. Publisher: Greenwood Press. Place of publication: Westport, CT. Publication year: 1993. Page number: 387.
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