Evaluate the impact of the Voting Rights Act on political participation and voter turnout.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. §§ 1973–1973aa-6) was a landmark piece of federal legislation in the United States that outlawed discriminatory voting practices that had been responsible for the widespread disenfranchisement of African Americans. The Act prohibited states from using prerequisites or qualifications to prevent people who were eligible from voting. Specifically, Congress intended the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to outlaw the practice of requiring otherwise qualified voters to pass literacy tests in order to register to vote, a principal means by which southern states had prevented African Americans from voting.
For this assignment, write a 700-word paper in which you complete the following:
- Explain why the federal government passed the Voting Rights Act.
- Evaluate the impact of the Voting Rights Act on political participation and voter turnout. (You might wish to study voter turnout statistics.)
- Discuss how current challenges to the Act (for example, Shelby County v. Holder) have affected the legislation.
- Discuss whether there have been any new (within the last 25 years) threats to voting rights