President Lyndon B. Johnson had to sign a Voting Rights Act Bill in 1965 because African Americans were being denied the right to vote although the 15th amendment was passed in 1870. The 15th amendment granted to the Constitution granted African American men the right to vote by declaring that the "right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude." Although ratified on February 3, 1870, the promise of the 15th Amendment would not be fully realized for almost a century (Library of Congress).
Southern Whites did not want African Americans to vote so they did everything to obstruct it using scare tactics, lynching, poll tax, literacy tax among other insidious acts. This supposedly came to an end when President Lyndon B. Johnson sign the Voters right Act in 1965 so we thought. The Republican Party has tried various tactics present day to obstruct the right to vote for African Americans and other minorities. The latest tactic is trying to implement VOTER ID LAWS under the guise of trying to stop voter fraud which the statistics suggest is virtually nonexistent. The GOP hopes to discourage minority vote from voting because they would mainly vote Democratic in the election.
The New Yorker reported that experts agree that actual incidents of in-person voter fraud -- the type of voter fraud that strict voter ID laws can prevent -- are "virtually non-existent," and fears of voter fraud have been largely invented as a way to "excite the base." [The New Yorker, 10/29/12.]
The New York University School of Law's Brennan Center has repeatedly explained that in-person voter fraud is not a justification for strict voter ID laws, because voter impersonation is "more rare than getting struck by lightning," and allegations of widespread fraud typically "amount to a great deal of smoke without much fire" and "simply do not pan out." [Brennan Center For Justice, 2007]Loyola University Law School professor Justin Levitt, who investigated "any specific, credible allegation" of voter impersonation fraud, found a total of "about 31 different incidents" since 2000 of in-person voter fraud out of over 1 billion ballots cast. [The Washington Post, Wonk blog, 8/6/14
Alabama’s voter-identification law went into effect last year, requiring voters to present a government-issued photo ID at the polls. A state-issued driver’s license is the most popular form of identification, and critics say the closure of offices that issue them is yet another barrier for poor and minority voters. To add insult to injury, the Alabama State Government closed 31 driver’s- license offices which are all in heavy populated African American areas. This move was clearly a way to obstruct the African American vote. This must be highlighted, discussed and overturned. The power is in the ballot.