Which Law Banned Literacy Tests Used in Voting

Which Law Banned Literacy Tests Used in Voting

A. Reside in an electoral district for at least one month. Before allowing the jurisdiction to be „saved“, it must have eliminated electoral procedures and methods that impede or dilute equal access to the electoral process. It must also demonstrate that it has made constructive efforts to eliminate intimidation and harassment of those seeking to register to vote and vote, to increase opportunities for voter participation, such as registration and voting opportunities, and to appoint minority leaders in all areas of competence and at all levels of the electoral process. The judiciary must also provide evidence of minority voter participation. Section 4 also provides that an authority may terminate or „safeguard“ coverage under the special provisions of the Act. Originally enacted in 1965 to address possible overinclusion resulting from the application of the trigger formula, Congress amended this procedure in 1982 so that jurisdictions that meet legal standards could receive redress. The amendment, which entered into force on August 5, 1984, establishes an „objective“ measure of whether the judiciary is entitled to a bailout. A literacy test assesses a person`s literacy skills: their ability to read and write has been managed by various governments, especially for immigrants. In the United States, literacy tests were conducted for potential voters between the 1850s[1] and the 1960s, resulting in the disenfranchisement of African Americans and others with limited access to education. Other countries, including Australia, have introduced literacy tests as part of its White Australia and South Africa policy, either to exclude certain racialized groups from voting or to prevent them from immigrating. [2] White supremacists, however, were still fiercely opposed to the vote of African Americans. Black voter registration in Alabama was only 23 percent, while in neighboring Mississippi, less than 7 percent of blacks of voting age were registered.

The Voting Rights Act, signed into law by President Johnson on August 6, 1965, suspended literacy and other tests in counties and states that showed evidence of voter discrimination. These counties and states were also prohibited from creating new election requirements that deprived citizens of their right to vote. In addition, in the areas covered by the Act, federal auditors have replaced local officials in voter registration. Proponents of tests to prove a candidate`s ability to read and understand English argued that the exams ensured an educated and informed electorate. In practice, they were used to disqualify immigrants and the poor who had less education. In the South, they were used to prevent African Americans from registering to vote. The Voting Rights Act ended the use of literacy tests in the South in 1965 and in the rest of the country in 1970. The American Federation of Labor has taken the initiative to promote literacy tests, which would exclude illiterates, especially from southern and eastern Europe. [13] The second element of the form would be completed if the Census Registrar found that less than 50% in 1 of people of voting age. In November 1964, less than 50% of people of voting age voted in the November 1964 presidential election. As a result, the following states became „covered jurisdictions“ in their entirety: Alabama, Alaska, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Virginia. In addition, some political divisions (usually counties) in four other states (Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, and North Carolina) were covered.

In fully covered States, the State itself and all political subdivisions of the State are subject to the special provisions. In „partially covered“ states, the special provisions applied only to identified counties. Voting amendments adopted or to be implemented by the affected police subdivisions, including amendments applicable to the State as a whole, shall be reviewed in accordance with Section 5. To limit the use of literacy tests, Congress enacted the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The law prohibited jurisdictions, among other things, from conducting literacy tests for citizens who reached sixth grade in a U.S. school where Spanish was the predominant language, such as schools in Puerto Rico. [5] The Supreme Court upheld this provision in Katzenbach v. Morgan (1966).

Although the Court had previously ruled in Lassiter that literacy tests did not violate the Fourteenth Amendment,[6] the Morgan Court held that Congress could enforce Fourteenth Amendment rights—such as the right to vote—by prohibiting conduct it considered to interfere with those rights, even though such conduct may not be unconstitutional independently. [7] [8] Black people attempting to vote were often told that they had mistyped the date, time or place of voting, that they did not have sufficient knowledge, or that they had incorrectly completed an application. Blacks, whose population suffered from high illiteracy rates due to centuries of oppression and poverty, were often forced to take literacy tests, which they sometimes failed. The literacy test didn`t just exclude the 60 percent of black men of voting age (most of them former slaves) who couldn`t read. It excluded almost all black men because the clerk chose technical passages that were difficult to interpret. In contrast, the employee would pass the blanks by choosing simple phrases in the state constitution that they could explain. Paragraph 16. The Attorney General and the Secretary of Defense are jointly conducting a comprehensive study to determine whether the laws or practices of one or more states provide voting requirements that may tend to discriminate against citizens who serve and wish to vote in the United States Armed Forces. Such officials shall submit jointly to Congress not later than June 30, 1966, a report containing the results of such study, together with a list of the States in which such conditions exist, and shall include in such report such legislative recommendations as they may deem appropriate to prevent discrimination against citizens serving in the armed forces of the United States. to prevent voting. In 1975, the special provisions of the Act were extended for seven years and expanded to combat discrimination against members of „linguistic minorities,“ defined as persons who are Native Americans, Asian Americans, Alaska Natives or Hispanics.

As before, Congress expanded the coverage formula based on the presence of tests or devices and the level of voter registration and turnout beginning in November 1972. In addition, the 1965 definition of „test or device“ was expanded to include the practice of providing voting information, including ballots, in English only in states or political divisions where members of a monolingual minority constituted more than five percent of voting-age citizens.

Share this post