August 29, 2015
WASHINGTON (CNS) — Even after a half-century of election law that was intended to settle the question of who is eligible to vote in the United States, contentious issues remain on who gets that right.
The battles, just like those before the bill was signed into law Aug. 6, 1965, are held long before someone gets to the voting booth.
Before the law, especially in the Jim Crow South, African-Americans were routinely denied the right to vote. Some city or county clerk offices established a “poll tax,” set so high that low-income blacks could not afford to pay it. Sometimes blacks were made to take tests to determine their eligibility to vote — tests that were designed to fail them. Sometimes clerks just outright refused to register black voters, and there was no higher legal authority to tell them otherwise.