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Delegate Benjamin Martin, a Democrat from Philadelphia County, spoke for the majority at the Pennsylvania convention when he said, “It is altogether futile and useless to pursue the experiment of making the African and Indian equal to the white citizen.” Perhaps thinking about the Fogg suit, Martin continued that voting rights would ill-serve blacks, because an aroused public would turn them away from the polls, thus “holding out expectations to them which could never be realized.” He warned of attracting African Americans to the state.Look to Philadelphia, he said, where blacks congregate “from all the southern States, and have so corrupted each other, that they are now in a situation far worse than the bondage from which they have escaped.
In 1860, no state imposed property qualifications for voting and only a half-dozen had tax-paying requirements.
As the winners in this new political order, white men shaped the nation’s laws and policies without regard to women or minorities.
This omission allowed states to suppress the votes of non-whites by various means.
In the antebellum period, the pattern of suppression was deregulatory and explicit, as Americans pursued the ideal of a “white man’s republic.” States expanded the franchise for white males by eliminating property and tax-paying qualifications for voting, while at the same time explicitly excluding women, Native Americans, and African Americans.
Next, this essay will look at the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, including its purpose and immediate impact.
This essay will then proceed to examine the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision in impacted the electoral process. The more that efforts to suppress voting rights in America change, the more they remain the same.From the earliest days of the republic to the present, politicians have sought to limit the ability of non-whites to vote.And the stakes are very much the same: Who has the right to vote in America and who benefits from exclusion?For nearly four decades, Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act required certain states and localities to garner pre-approval prior to implementing any changes in laws that affect voting. That has all changed with a Supreme Court decision in 2013. Since that time, instances of subtle (or not so subtle) voter discrimination has taken place in our country, especially in those states with a history of disparaging minorities. At times history and fate meet at a single time in a single place to shape a turning point in man’s unending search for freedom. It would not be until 1965 that African Americans and other racial minorities regained the vote with the passage of the Voting Rights Act. And struggles for full access to the ballot continue, with states restricting voting opportunities through measures such as photo voter ID laws, voter purges, felon disenfranchisement, polling place closings, and gerrymandered legislative districts.Although the players and the issues in voting rights may change over time, today’s arguments would seem familiar to those involved in the antebellum fights over voting.In the 18th century, African Americans who met other qualifications could vote in most states of the new republic.But by the mid-19th century, those suffrage rights had been lost. After the war, African American men regained the right to vote—only to lose those rights within decades, after Reconstruction.However, this type of exact match system is referred as “disenfranchisement by typo” because, when submitting a voter registration form, if a person has a hyphen missing on their name, or a missing apostrophe, or if you use “Steve” on one form and “Steven” on another, that registration form is going to be blocked by the state election officials of Georgia. It is interesting to note that Georgia had first tried to put this policy in place in 2009, but, thanks to the Voting Rights Act, the Justice Department blocked this exact match system from going into effect because they found it discriminatory against minority voters – who would be more likely to be flagged by this system. So, what happened? It’s a simple answer: the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down key provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in (2013).  “The provisions stated that officials shall be punished for failure to count the votes of eligible electors, when the Fifteenth Amendment granted Congress only the power to punish officials for depriving electors of the right to vote Nixon v. This essay will first examine the history of voter disenfranchisement from Reconstruction through the Civil Rights movement. 542 (1875) (finding that the right to participate in state politics was derived from the states, so individuals could look only to the states for protection of this right).