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Voting Rights Act

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Complete 5 pages APA formatted article: What Was the Overall Significance of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. These conventions were used to establish a set of barriers to prevent African Americans from being able to exercise their right to suffrage. The barriers created included literacy and property tests, poll taxes, understanding clauses, and grandfather clauses. The 1965 Voting Rights Act of 1965 removed these barriers to African American suffrage in the South.

On August 6, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson put his approval on the legislation that brought into being the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Section 2 of the Act almost mirrored the Fifteenth amendment by applying a prohibition throughout the nation against any kind of denial or abridgment of the right to vote through the use of literacy tests. The Act also provided specific enforcement provisions against those regions of the nation, which demonstrated a high potential for discrimination against minorities.

Under the jurisdictions of Section Five of the Act special, these provisions were denied the ability to bring about any voting changes until the Attorney General, or the United States District Court for the District of Columbia ascertained that the change had not been created for discriminatory purposes, and as such would not have any discriminatory effect. It also provided for the Attorney General to appoint a federal examiner in such counties, to review the qualifications of the individual attempting to register to vote. In addition, it allowed the Attorney General to appoint federal observers to monitor polling activities in those counties, where federal examiners were present. These provisions of Section Five of the Act due to top pressure from the majority community were made temporary and required renewal. The Bush administration in 2006 renewed all aspects of Section Five (1).

The primary significance of the 1965 Voting Rights Act is that it removed barriers to African Americans seeking to register as voters. Prior to Act in 1965 the African Americans found it very difficult to register themselves as voters. This meant that they could not taker part in elections, and even in African American-dominated areas, white community candidates were being elected to represent them, even though they had no interest in the welfare of the minority community.


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