In 1867, Congress passed a series of laws known as the Reconstruction Acts. These laws required former Confederate states to dissolve existing state governments, register eligible men to vote, whether white or African American and then hold conventions to create new state constitutions.
The Florida State Archives (www.floridamemory.com) has a record list of individuals who registered to vote in the State of Florida in 1867 and 1868. The lists are of historical significance because they are the first voter rolls in Florida to include African Americans. For most African American Floridians listed in the collection, this is the earliest instance of their inclusion by their full name on an official state document, according to the Florida Archives.
To take a look at the voter rolls in Madison County, visit www.floridamemory.com/collections/election1867/. On the webpage, there is a small search bar that allows users to search by voter name. Voters may also be searched by county and race. To view those registered voters in Madison County, simply select Madison County from the counties list and click “Search.”
An alphabetical list, starting with the last name first, will load on the next screen. There, users may view all of the registered voters of 1867 and 1868.
Who knows, maybe you have an ancestor that participated in the voting!