The Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965 to provide equal rights in voting for all individuals. The act prohibits discrimination on the basis of race and color. Prior to its passage, discriminatory voting practices were common in many states. The Voting Rights Act is a direct result of racial clashes in the South, particularly the march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama where 200 state police attacked the marchers. More information on voting rights and the history of the act can be found on the U.S. Department of Justice Web site.

Each state has a right to pass laws concerning voter qualifications. Additionally, congressional districts and other voting districts can change and establish new boundaries. However no state may require:

  • literary tests
  • a poll tax
  • English language literacy

Our use of cookies

We use necessary cookies to make our site work. We would also like to set some optional cookies. We won't set these optional cookies unless you enable them. Please choose whether this site may use optional cookies by selecting 'On' or 'Off' for each category below. Using this tool will set a cookie on your device to remember your preferences.

For more detailed information about the cookies we use, see our Cookie notice.

Necessary cookies

Necessary cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.

Functionality cookies

We'd like to set cookies to provide you with a better customer experience. For more information on these cookies, please see our cookie notice.