January 11, 2010


Suffrage (from the Latin suffragium, meaning "voting tablet", and figuratively "right to vote", and originally a term for the pastern bone used to cast votes) is the civil right to vote, or the exercise of that right. It is also called political franchise or simply the franchise. Suffrage may apply to elections, but also extends to initiatives and referendums. Suffrage is used to describe not only the legal right to vote, but also to the practical question of the opportunity to vote, which is sometimes denied those who have a legal right. In the United States, extensions of suffrage was part of Jacksonian democracy.

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