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the Voting Rights Act of 1965

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The Voting Rights Act of 1965 is a landmark piece of federal legislation in the United States that prohibits racial discrimination in voting.

The United States of America, commonly referred to as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions.

Voting is a method for a group such as a meeting or an electorate to make a decision or express an opinion, usually following discussions, debates or election campaigns.

Legislation is law which has been promulgated by a legislature or other governing body or the process of making it.

Voting rights Act of 1965 by Wright Montgomery

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It was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson during the height of the Civil Rights Movement on August 6, 1965, and Congress later amended the Act five times to expand its protections.

The Civil Rights Movement or 1960s Civil Rights Movement encompasses social movements in the United States whose goals were to end racial segregation and discrimination against African Americans and to secure legal recognition and federal protection of the citizenship rights enumerated in the Constitution and federal law.

Lyndon Baines Johnson, often referred to as LBJ, was an American politician who served as the 36th President of the United States from 1963 to 1969, assuming the office after serving as the 37th Vice President of the United States under President John F. Kennedy, from 1961 to 1963.

President Johnson and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by John Fitz

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Designed to enforce the voting rights guaranteed by the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, the Act secured voting rights for racial minorities throughout the country, especially in the South.

Suffrage, political franchise, or simply franchise is the right to vote in public, political elections.

4

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the Act is considered to be the most effective piece of civil rights legislation ever enacted in the country.

Civil and political rights are a class of rights that protect individuals' freedom from infringement by governments, social organizations, and private individuals.

5

The Act contains numerous provisions that regulate election administration.

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The Act's "general provisions" provide nationwide protections for voting rights.

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Section 2 is a general provision that prohibits every state and local government from imposing any voting law that results in discrimination against racial or language minorities.

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Other general provisions specifically outlaw literacy tests and similar devices that were historically used to disenfranchise racial minorities.

A literacy test assesses a person's literacy skills: their ability to read and write.

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The Act also contains "special provisions" that apply to only certain jurisdictions.

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A core special provision is the Section 5 preclearance requirement, which prohibits certain jurisdictions from implementing any change affecting voting without receiving preapproval from the U.S. Attorney General or the U.S. District Court for D.C. that the change does not discriminate against protected minorities.

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Another special provision requires jurisdictions containing significant language minority populations to provide bilingual ballots and other election materials.

A ballot is a device used to cast votes in an election, and may be a piece of paper or a small ball used in secret voting.

Multilingualism is the use of two or more languages, either by an individual speaker or by a community of speakers.

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Section 5 and most other special provisions apply to jurisdictions encompassed by the "coverage formula" prescribed in Section 4. The coverage formula was originally designed to encompass jurisdictions that engaged in egregious voting discrimination in 1965, and Congress updated the formula in 1970 and 1975.

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In Shelby County v. Holder, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the coverage formula as unconstitutional, reasoning that it was no longer responsive to current conditions.

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The Court did not strike down Section 5, but without a coverage formula, Section 5 is unenforceable.

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