Voter Discrimination In Texas

Currently, the voting requirements are very flexible and observant of human rights thanks to the hard works of several liberal-minded people.

<p><strong>Voter discrimination in Texas</strong></p>
<p>In 845 the Republic of Texas was incorporated into the united states of America forming the 28<sup>th</sup> state. Upon its adoption, the Texas constitution was drafted to govern the activities of the state and its relationship with the federal government. The constitution was so discriminative as far as voting was concerned. Women, Indians, and people of African descent were not allowed to vote. To be able to vote one had to be a male of 21 years and above, be a united states citizen or a citizen of Texas by the time the Texan constitution was approved by the Congress, must have resided in Texas for one year preceding an election and must have resided in the district where he or she offers his vote for at least six months before the election. However, several amendments have been championed by interested groups, political parties and the public in general.</p>
<p>Currently, the voting requirements are very flexible and observant of human rights thanks to the hard works of several liberal-minded people. Today Texas has integrated the Asians, African Americans, and Latinos as part of their political structure. The current laws also allow women and anyone who is 17years and 10 months to apply for registration as a voter. The journey to ensure that the minority groups vote in Texas started right after the annexation of Texas. In 1870 the 15<sup>th</sup> amendment was enacted in the constitution of the united states by the Congress allowing the African American men to vote. The Congress under the watch of president Andrew Johnson facilitated the change. In that year Hiram Revels became the first African American to be elected to the US Congress.</p>
<p>Consequently, the united states&rsquo; constitution forbids any state from denying any American citizen the right to vote based on the sex as in the 19<sup>th</sup> amendment. This amendment was meant to ensure that women are given the right to vote. The adoption of this law ensured that the state of Texas allowed women to vote. The bill was introduced in the Congress by Senator Aaron a. Sargent in 1878, however, it became effective in 1920 after several ratifications by many states. Due to the call for women rights, in 1919 Texas governor Hobby passed a resolution to the Texas legislators to amend the constitution and allow women to vote in that state.</p>
<p>The enactment of the 15<sup>th</sup> amendment did not end the voter discrimination in Texas. They continued to segregate African American and Latinos from voting. The state’s government introduced the poll tax that was paid on registration and voters had to show their receipts before voting. these levies were almost the wages of Mexicans and blacks. Therefore, they were easily barred from voting since they could not raise the wages. The white legislators of Texas also passed strict election requirements like literacy levels, ownership of property and the moral character to prevent blacks from voting. In 1926 Lawrence Nixon, a black doctor challenged the law barring blacks from participating in the primaries. The supreme court ruled in his favor as this violated the 14<sup>th</sup> amendment. However, the poll tax was successfully abolished in 1966 by the Senate</p>
<p>In 1964 the US Congress passed the 24<sup>th</sup> amendment bill that marked the end of the poll tax in the country. The bill that was proposed by the minister for justice H.R.Gokhale stated that no state was allowed to&nbsp; deny any American citizen the right to vote due to failure to pay a poll tax. It also provided that the all American citizen were allowed to take part in all elections from the president to that of house representatives. This amendment brought to an end the legal exploitations and biased examinations as far as the people to pay the poll tax in order to retain the right to vote. It also eliminated the long residency requirements for voter registration. The property ownership as a qualification for voting was also made illegal under the 24<sup>th</sup> amendment rights.</p>
<p>Due to intense pressure and push for civil rights by African American organizations like the NAACP in Texas the Congress passed the voting rights act of 1965. This law was signed by President Lyndon Johnson and aimed at overruling the barriers set at state levels hindering the successful implementation of the 15<sup>th</sup> amendment as stated in the constitution. This marked the height of civil rights movement in 1965. The VRA ensured the protection of racial minorities from intimidation during voting. It marked the most important legislation enacted in the country with five section to fully protect the special interests and rights during elections.</p>
<p>The reduction of the voting age to 18 years was made effective the enactment of the 26<sup>th</sup> amendment in 1971 after. The law required that any citizen who has obtained the age of 18 years should not be denied the right to vote. The bill was proposed by Senator Ted Kennedy in 1970 after a series of proposals by fellow senators in the previous Senate. He advocated for the amendment of the voting rights act of 1965 to lower the voting age. Even though much has been achieved in the fight to end voter discrimination, a lot still needs to be done following the recent legislation by the state legislators on the voter identification that most courts have ruled to be a method of discriminating a certain minority group.</p>


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