In some states of the former ConfederacyAfrican Americans became a majority or near majority of the eligible voting population, and African American candidates ran and were elected to office at all levels of government. Nevertheless, there was strong opposition to the extension of the franchise to African Americans.
Following the end of Reconstruction inthe Supreme Court of the United States limited voting protections under federal legislation, and intimidation and fraud were employed by white leaders to reduce voter registration and turnout among African Americans.
As whites came to dominate state legislatures once again, legislation was used to strictly circumscribe the right of African Americans to vote.
Poll taxesliteracy tests, grandfather clauseswhites-only primaries, and other measures disproportionately disqualified African Americans from voting. The result was that by the early 20th century nearly all African Americans were disfranchised. In the first half of the 20th century, several such measures were declared unconstitutional by the U.
Infor example, grandfather clauses were invalidated, and in whites-only primaries were struck down. Nevertheless, by the early s voter registration rates among African Americans were negligible in much of the Deep South and well below those of whites elsewhere.
In the s and early s the U. Congress enacted laws to protect the right of African Americans to vote, but such legislation was only partially successful.
In the Civil Rights Act was passed and the Twenty-fourth Amendmentabolishing poll taxes for voting for federal offices, was ratified, and the following year President Lyndon B. Johnson called for the implementation of comprehensive federal legislation to protect voting rights.
An expansion of the law in the s also protected voting rights for non-English-speaking U. Sections 4 and 5 were extended for 5 years in7 years inand 25 years in both and In the mids, for example, the overall proportion of white to black registration in the South ranged from about 2 to 1 to 3 to 1 and about 10 to 1 in Mississippi ; by the late s racial variations in voter registration had largely disappeared.
As the number of African American voters increased, so did the number of African American elected officials.
In the mids there were about 70 African American elected officials in the South, but by the turn of the 21st century there were some 5, and the number of African American members of the U. Congress had increased from 6 to about In Shelby County v.
Holderhowever, the court struck down Section 4—which had established a formula for identifying jurisdictions that were required to obtain preclearance—declaring it to be unjustified in light of changed historical circumstances.Voting Rights Act: Voting Rights Act, U.S.
legislation (August 6, ) that aimed to overcome legal barriers at the state and local levels that prevented African Americans from exercising their right to vote under the Fifteenth Amendment () to the United States Constitution. It was largely gutted by a Supreme Court decision in Voting Rights Introduction.
The United States has a long history of limiting the right to vote of women and people of color through property ownership, taxes, registration and residency laws, and tests. The Voting Rights Act of , signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson, aimed to overcome legal barriers at the state and local levels that prevented African Americans from exercising their.
If Reproductive Rights Depend on Voting Rights, Then Voter Suppression is Yet Another Attack on Reproductive Rights The reproductive lives of people of color, young people, LGBT folks and people in low-income communities are greatly at . Campaigns and Elections; Voting Rights; Voter suppression; The Trump Administration Is Planning an Unprecedented Attack on Voting Rights The Trump Administration Is Planning an Unprecedented.
The Civil Rights Acts provide some of the early federal statutory protections against discrimination in voting (42 U.S.C. & ). These protections originated in the Civil Rights Act of , and were later amended by the .