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Voting & Voting Rights: Voting Rights Act

A guide to resources on voting including voter registration and election information. This information is non-partisan, focusing on voting rights and citizenship.


As a direct result of the efforts of VEP, SCLC, NAACP, SNCC and various other civil rights organizations, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on August 6, 1965–a little over 100 years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation and 95 years after the 15th Amendment granted African American men the right to vote. This law aided in dismembering the “legal barriers" [poll tax, literacy test, etc.] at state and local levels that prevented African Americans from participation in voting.

Selected Archival Items

Pamplet cover

Selected Readings

Supplemental Questions

  1. Compare and contrast the political progress of African Americans during Reconstruction era and post-Obama era as it pertains to voting Rights and representation in elected office.
  2. Looking forward, what is the biggest legislative hurdle facing African Americans and other minorities today; what legislation would –if you could write and why?
  3. In 1965 the Voting Rights Act outlawed poll taxes and literacy test that sought to disenfranchise African American and minority votes. What are some modern day hurdles minority voters face today and how can they overcome these obstacles?
  4. For years Get out and Vote Campaigns consisted of door to door canvasing, printed mailers, voter registration drives, and most recently social media ads. Many of these practices are still used today. Are they still effective? Why are Why not? If not, how can these methods be innovative in order to increase the effort to mobilize voters?
  5. What do you hope to change by voting?
  6. Does the past struggle for voting rights, mandate that you exercise the right yourself. Is not voting disrespectful to this legacy. Why or why not?