Presentation on theme: "How Important is the Right to Vote?. Ratified in 1870 The right to vote cannot be denied to any citizen of the United States because of race, color."— Presentation transcript:
Ratified in 1870 The right to vote cannot be denied to any citizen of the United States because of race, color or previous condition of servitude Problem = ◦ Simply stating a general principle without providing for a means to enforce the implementation was not enough to carry out the intention of the amendment.
For almost 90 years, the Federal Government paid little attention to the voting rights of African Americans ◦ African Americans generally & systematically kept from the polls Violence Subtle threats, social pressures Literacy tests Registration laws
Civil Rights Act, 1957 Set up the United States Civil Rights Commission. ◦ One of Commission’s major duties was to inquire into claims of voter discrimination. ◦ Commission reported its findings to Congress and the President and, through the media, to the public. ◦ Attn. General had the power to seek federal court orders to prevent interference with any person’s right to vote in a federal election
Much broader, much more effective Outlaws discrimination in several areas, especially in job related matters Forbid the use of any voter registration or literacy requirement in an unfair or discriminatory manner ◦ Relied on judicial action INJUNCTION = a court order that either forces or limits the performance of some acts by a private individual or by a public official
Made the 15 th Amendment a truly effective part of the Constitution (24 th Amendment). This act applied to ALL elections held anywhere in the country- State, local and federal. Suspended the use of literacy tests or similar devices in any State or county where less than half of the electorate had been registered or had voted in the 1964 election. Gave federal government more control over elections.
Voting Rights Act declared that no new election laws and no changes in existing election laws could go into effect unless they had received “preclearance” by the Department of Justice. ◦ Changes to watch for: Location of polling places; boundaries of the election district; deadlines in the election process; qualifications for candidates in order to run for office.