Showing posts from June, 2011

Republican Lawmakers are Trying to Turn Back the Clock on Voting Rights by Rigging the 2012 Election

On August 6, 1965, the Voting Rights Act (VRA) was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson. The passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act is not only one of the most important legislative achievements of the 20 th century, it is easily a seminal moment in American history. Using language similar to the 15th Amendment (which gave black males the right to vote in 1870), the Act prohibits states from imposing any "voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure ... to deny or abridge the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color." Before passage of the Voting Rights Act, a number of states – especially those in the Deep South – used a variety of tactics to systematically suppress black voter registration and turnout. The VRA outlaws discriminatory tests like literacy tests, test of good character, racial gerrymandering, and the use of poll taxes. To prevent the intimidation of voters or the rigging o