Sunday, November 2, 2008 | By: Tonya Keitt Kalule

Voting Rights Act of 1965

About a year or two ago there was an email that was circulating that enraged many African-Americans. This email indicated that the Voters Right Act of 1965 which is part of the Civil Rights act was coming up to be voted on Congress. This infuriated many because they believed that what Congress was voting on was the right for African-Americans to vote. Everyone is wondering why is it that this right to vote is not a permanent part of our constitution. Well this information was quite misleading and it exasperated many African-Americans but this was bad information.

In 1870 the 15th Amendment was ratified, it specified that the right to vote shall not be denied or abridged on the basis of race, color, or previous servitude. This superseded state laws which prohibited black voting. Congress then enacted the Enforcement Act of 1870, which contained criminal penalties for interference of the right to vote. After this millions of recently freed slaves registered to vote. Black candidates for the first time were elected to state, local, and federal offices and had a very active role in the government. This participation was greatly resisted and in 1890 certain states began to amend their constitutions and enact a series of laws, i.e., poll tax,literacy tests, etc. By 1910, all blacks were kept from voting by any means necessary. After much violence and other means of keeping blacks from voting, the Voters Right Act of 1965, was initiated by President Johnson who recognized the need for stronger voter legislation. This piece of legislation followed the language of the 15th Amendment this was done in Section 2 of the legislation. However, there were certain parts of the country that Congress believed had the highest potential for discrimination to be the greatest, and this is where Section 5 comes into play, and the only part of this legislation that comes up for vote every few years. This section has special provisions for the potentially discriminatory areas of the country. Jurisdictions covered by these special provisions could not implement any change affecting voting until the Attorney General or the United States District Court for the District of Columbia determined that the change did not have a discriminatory purpose and would not have a discriminatory effect. In addition, the Attorney General could designate a county covered by these special provisions for the appointment of a federal examiner to review the qualifications of persons who wanted to register to vote. It was extended for five years at first and seven years after that, and George W. Bush just recently extended it to 2025. Many politicians wants this section to be eliminated, but it is still a problem for minority voters in the specified areas of the country, and the vote is to either continue with these provisions or not to continue.
This all should have been researched prior to circulating an email that infuriated most ns frightened other African Americans. We were thinking the day may come where we can no longer vote, as it was between 1870 and 1965. So you can't believe everything that you read it pays to find out for yourself. This is the reason why I put several links in my blog, so you can look into the various things that I write about.

Good looking up!


Post a Comment