In late January 1870 a tall, heavy-set man in his late forties, black but of light complexion, strode purposefully into the corridors of the U.S. Capitol. He wore white gloves, a dignified long black coat, and matching pants and vest, and he carried a dark walking stick. His home state, Mississippi, had recently held a constitutional convention similar to South Carolina’s, and was in the process of gaining readmission to the Union. At the time (and until 1913), U.S. senators were not popularly elected but were selected by the state legislature. When Mississippi’s had convened, its black members had demanded that one of the state’s three open Senate terms go to a black man. Now Hiram Rhodes Revels, a minister and the state’s newly appointed senator, had arrived to claim his seat.
How to vote
Vote-by-mail ballot request deadline: Varies by state
For the Nov 3 election: States are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail.Get more information
In-person early voting dates: Varies by state
Sometimes circumstances make it hard or impossible for you to vote on Election Day. But your state may let you vote during a designated early voting period. You don't need an excuse to vote early. Visit your state election office website to find out whether they offer early voting.My Election Office
General Election: Nov 3, 2020
Polling hours on Election Day: Varies by state/localityMy Polling Place