Voter Id- 1965 Voting Rights Act-Enfranchisement or Disenfranchisement
Dr. Ronnie B. Tucker

The 1965 Voting Rights Act was implemented to eradicate the issues of voter discrimination in state and federal elections. The Act was designed to ensure that African American citizens and other ethnic minorities were given a fair and just opportunity to exercise their constitutional rights. However, starting in 2012, several states began trying to circumvent this right by avoiding or interposing the 1965 Voting Rights Act requirement of “Pre-Clearance.’ The proposed rationale for Voter Identification legislation as set forth by numerous states is to reduce the amount of voter fraud. In actuality, states such as Pennsylvania do not have justifiable documentation of voter fraud. The paper looks at the guidelines of the 1965 Voting Rights Act and the Voter Identification laws in various states to assess whether or not the implementation of Voter Identification is, in fact, a disfranchisement to African American Voters, the poor, and especially senior citizens with a large amount of those being from the African American population. The paper will discuss both the federal and state application of the 1965 Voting Rights Act and how it is being circumvented by the application of Voter Identification laws. The paper will also discuss the racial implication and how Voter ID complies with the rights provided under the 14th Amendment, “Equal Protection Under the Law.” The paper will review with a comparative analysis of samples states in the North vs South that have implemented Voter ID; so as to make an assessment of whether or not Voter ID is an infringement upon the constitutional rights of the American voter, especially African Americans. The paper will also include discussion of the recent Supreme Court decision in Shelby v. Holder 2013.

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