Forum Theme 2
Professor Johnson mentioned that the Voting Rights Act is often seen as the most successful piece of civil rights legislation. I would actually go farther than that. I would say if one was to make a list of the top ten most effective pieces of legislation by the U.S. Congress, the 1965 Voting Rights Act would be up near the top. It quickly achieved its desired effect. Within two years after its passage, voter registration levels among African-Americans increased in every state of the old Confederacy, often dramatically. In Mississippi, where fewer than 10 percent of eligible Black voters were registered before the Act, by late 1967, 60 percent of such voters were registered. The gap in registration between Whites and Blacks had also narrowed considerably and would continue to narrow throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s. Today there is a slight difference in registration rates between African Americans and Whites, but most of that can be attributed to differences in education levels and income levels, education and income being two factors we know significantly affect the likelihood of voting.
©2016 Scott Peters
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"The Voting Rights Act at Today's Supreme Court,"
UNIversitas: Journal of Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity: Vol. 11
, Article 13.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/universitas/vol11/iss1/13