Voting and Elections

Voting and Elections - Voting and Elections 1 Chapter 8 For...

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Voting and Elections 1 Chapter 8 For this presentation You should be able to: Describe the gradual expansion of the right to vote in the United States *Describe some of the “ingenious” methods used to disenfranchise Black Americans *Describe the reasons for and the operation of the Voting Rights Act The History of Suffrage Suffrage=the right to vote *Under the original Constitution Right to vote was not guaranteed *Only qualifications for voting for House of Representatives included Qualifications for voting for the US House would be the same as for the most numerous branch of the state legislature Why no other federal offices? Senators were chosen by the state legislatures *Not changed until the 17 th Amendment in 1913 President chosen by electors from each state Manner of choosing electors determined by state legislatures Qualifications in Early Republic American citizenship *Free, white males *Adults over 21 years of age *Property requirements defined as: Ownership of land, and/or *Payment of a poll tax Religion *Residency requirements for state voting Expansions of Suffrage *15 th Amendment prohibits abridging the right to vote on account of race, color or previous condition of servitude Includes enforcement power for Congress
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During Reconstruction Union army of occupation in the South enforced voting rights After Reconstruction After Reconstruction Preventing Black Suffrage Using Gimmicks to Undermine the 15 th Amendment Poll Taxes *A fee that had to be paid before a person could vote *Read about poll taxes at: * http://newdeal.feri.org/survey/40a01.htm *Imagine having to pay $2 during the Great Depression in order to vote! *Poll taxes were eliminated: *For federal elections by the 24 th Amendment (1964) *For state elections by Supreme Court decision in 1966 More Gimmicks *“Good character” tests *Depended on “testimony” from registered voters *All tests had separate standards for black and white *“Grandfather clauses” *Another separate standard *Exempted white voters from the usual requirements for voting Still More Gimmicks Disenfranchisement for petty offenses (misdemeanors)
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Voting and Elections - Voting and Elections 1 Chapter 8 For...

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