VOTING RIGHTS ACTS OF 1965

Blacks in the south finally get to go to the polls

Voting Rights Acts 1965.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965, grew out of both public protest and private political negotiation. They hoped to attract national media attention and pressure the U.S. government to protect Black's constitutional rights.

The resolution, signed into law on August 6, 1965, empowered the federal government to oversee voter registration and elections in counties that had used tests to determine voter eligibility or where registration or turnout had been less than 50 percent in the 1964 presidential election. It also banned discriminatory literacy tests and expanded voting rights for non-English speaking Americans.

The law's effects were wide and powerful. By 1968, nearly 60 percent of eligible African Americans were registered to vote in Mississippi, and other southern states showed similar improvement. Between 1965 and 1990, the number of black state legislators and members of Congress rose from two to 160.