A Dictionary of American History

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Author: Thomas L. Purvis  | Date: 1995

Voting Rights Act

Voting Rights Act (6 August 1965) Proposed by Lyndon Johnson, this law suspended, for five years, literacy tests and other discriminatory devices for registering voters in all states or election districts where under 50 percent of adults voted in 1964; it empowered federal examiners to register voters in such areas; and it enacted criminal penalties for obstructing, discouraging, or intimidating anyone from voting. After five years, Washington’s federal district court must approve any changes in election laws passed in states or counties where less than half of adults had voted in August 1965. The law was held constitutional in South Carolina v. Katzenbach. From 1965 to 1969, registered black voters tripled from one to three million in ex-CSA states. Congress amended and extended the act by the Civil Rights Act (1970). The Court ruled on redistricting under the law in United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburgh v. Carey and Johnson v. De Grandy.

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Civil Rights Movement

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Chicago: Thomas L. Purvis, "Voting Rights Act," A Dictionary of American History in A Dictionary of American History (Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell Reference, 1995), Original Sources, accessed February 28, 2020, http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=3A6VZ1AEJKX9KN7.

MLA: Purvis, Thomas L. "Voting Rights Act." A Dictionary of American History, in A Dictionary of American History, Cambridge, Mass., Blackwell Reference, 1995, Original Sources. 28 Feb. 2020. originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=3A6VZ1AEJKX9KN7.

Harvard: Purvis, TL, 'Voting Rights Act' in A Dictionary of American History. cited in 1995, A Dictionary of American History, Blackwell Reference, Cambridge, Mass.. Original Sources, retrieved 28 February 2020, from http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=3A6VZ1AEJKX9KN7.