Tag Archives: Voting Rights Act

Why I Vote And So Should You!





I am voting on November 8th and so should  you.  You have to be involved in the process in order to make change.  This has been a very intense, violent and angry election. I am so shocked but part of me is not shocked. It’s a tale of two reactions.  I am shocked that so much hate still exists in this country; another part of me is not so shocked.  Maybe it’s just I hoped that humans would have evolved a bit more than what I am seeing.  This country definitely has many issues of race, sexuality, the glass ceiling and other things. We are a democratic country with a slave mentality.  It’s very bipolar.

There has to be a great healing in order to move forward. I feel it begins with communication and admission of the horrors that have been done.  It takes people embracing culture of others, building bridges instead of walls; giving everyone the opportunity to grow, expand and take advantage of opportunities to be the best they can be. Not just a select few or the very wealthy.  It also means taking a look at real history; not the select history that is chosen to be in the history books. There is a Living History in every one of us waiting to be told. There are many people of many races and cultures that helped this country to become what it is but few are even acknowledged.

The voting rights act has been amended and changed to look like something of a nightmare. Why do we have to continue to vote on extensions? It is unfair and totally biased for this to have to continue to be voted on.

Nevertheless, our ancestors died to give us the opportunity to cast our vote on how and who runs the country and its officials on all levels from City, State and Federal. We must remember that if we want to change how the police or any official treats us, we need to vote on all levels including Midterm Elections not just National Elections. Judges, Commissioners, District Attorneys all have to be elected. If we want to make changes we need to be aware of who is running and their backgrounds; do your research.  We have to stop pointing fingers and do the work that has to be done in order to make this world a better place.   We must practice what we say on Sunday in church or in our mediation or whatever your spiritual choices are. It begin with Love. Simple but not so it seems.

I know that this election is very important and I am in it to win it. To do my part in making choice and not just complaining about what is wrong.  I hope you are too. No matter who you vote for at least get out there and cast it. I am praying that the world can come together and stop this racism, hate, separation and dysfunction that I have seen grow over the past few years. This year I have seen it intensify.   I feel there are good people in this country who believe in coming together and not apart. I feel confident that we are a strong people and will get through this stressful time and get on a better track. The people who hate are full of fear and insecurity. They believe that hate rules and fear is the tool to use to get the results they want and need.  I believe in love and I believe that we shall overcome this time and move into a new era. On that note I am voting and you should too. Lets come together and make this world a better place for all.


Why I am Voting

 It seems there is a big battle going on with Democrats and Republicans. To me ‘We the People’ has been lost in all of this. I well know what media can do to change people’s minds and put fear into their hearts.  The Internet has become a balancing factor.  It gives voice to the ones of us who have something to say whether it’s for or against something. That is how things were meant to be in the first place.  My reason for voting is the fact that my ancestors and the people before me went to the limit to get us the freedom to vote. It has been a long hard road and I am not going to just sit here and not use the opportunity that has been created for me. Lots of people are unhappy about the way things are today and all they do is complain. You have to get up and do something about it. You have to ‘Be The Change You Want To See In the World’, and that is a quote that I live by.

Did you all know that the Voting Rights Act of 1965  came right after the Civil Rights Act of 1964?  That was not long ago. We tend to forget all of the efforts that had to be put in for us to even sit at the front of the bus.  Did you also know that some Republicans fought against the renewal of the Voting Rights Act in 2006? Can you believe that?  Such Racists and bigots those few Republican members of Congress are and in this day and age, it is so childish to stand in the way of equality for all people. But that is what fear will do to you. So lets all go out and vote tomorrow, whether you are Democrat or Republican, we all need to work together to make the country better.  I have put together some info about the Voting rights act of 1866 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to refresh everyone’s memory of how hard it has been for African-Americans in this country and how far we have come today, and still a long way to go. Lets not forget about the sexism, homophobia and bigotry that exists here also. We have to get rid of it. We are all GOD’s children and hate and fear has to be replaced with love, compassion, understanding and acceptance.


The Civil Rights Act (1866) was passed by Congress on 9th April 1866 over the veto of President Andrew Johnson. The act declared that all persons born in the United States were now citizens, without regard to race, color, or previous condition. As citizens they could make and enforce contracts, sue and be sued, give evidence in court, and inherit, purchase, lease, sell, hold, and convey real and personal property. Persons who denied these rights to former slaves were guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction faced a fine not exceeding $1,000, or imprisonment not exceeding one year, or both. The activities of organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan undermined the workings of this act and it failed to guarantee the civil rights of African Americans.



the voting rights act of 1965

The 1965 Enactment

By 1965 concerted efforts to break the grip of state disfranchisement had been under way for some time, but had achieved only modest success overall and in some areas had proved almost entirely ineffectual. The murder of voting-rights activists in Philadelphia, Mississippi, gained national attention, along with numerous other acts of violence and terrorism. Finally, the unprovoked attack on March 7, 1965, by state troopers on peaceful marchers crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, en route to the state capitol in Montgomery, persuaded the President and Congress to overcome Southern legislators’ resistance to effective voting rights legislation. President Johnson issued a call for a strong voting rights law and hearings began soon thereafter on the bill that would become the Voting Rights Act.

Congress determined that the existing federal anti-discrimination laws were not sufficient to overcome the resistance by state officials to enforcement of the 15th Amendment. The legislative hearings showed that the Department of Justice’s efforts to eliminate discriminatory election practices by litigation on a case-by-case basis had been unsuccessful in opening up the registration process; as soon as one discriminatory practice or procedure was proven to be unconstitutional and enjoined, a new one would be substituted in its place and litigation would have to commence anew.

President Johnson signed the resulting legislation into law on August 6, 1965.  Section 2 of the Act, which closely followed the language of the 15th amendment, applied a nationwide prohibition against the denial or abridgment of the right to vote on the literacy tests on a nationwide basis. Among its other provisions, the Act contained special enforcement provisions targeted at those areas of the country where Congress believed the potential for discrimination to be the greatest. Under Section 5, jurisdictions covered by these special provisions could not implement any change affecting voting until the Attorney General or the United States District Court for the District of Columbia determined that the change did not have a discriminatory purpose and would not have a discriminatory effect. In addition, the Attorney General could designate a county covered by these special provisions for the appointment of a federal examiner to review the qualifications of persons who wanted to register to vote. Further, in those counties where a federal examiner was serving, the Attorney General could request that federal observers monitor activities within the county’s polling place.The Voting Rights Act had not included a provision prohibiting poll taxes, but had directed the Attorney General to challenge its use. In Harper v. Virginia State Board of Elections, 383 U.S. 663 (1966), the Supreme Court held Virginia’s poll tax to be unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment. Between 1965 and 1969 the Supreme Court also issued several key decisions upholding the constitutionality of Section 5 and affirming the broad range of voting practices that required Section 5 review. As the Supreme Court put it in its 1966 decision upholding the constitutionality of the Act:

Congress had found that case-by-case litigation was inadequate to combat wide-spread and persistent discrimination in voting, because of the inordinate amount of time and energy required to overcome the obstructionist tactics invariably encountered in these lawsuits. After enduring nearly a century of systematic resistance to the Fifteenth Amendment, Congress might well decide to shift the advantage of time and inertia from the perpetrators of the evil to its victims.


South Carolina v. Katzenbach, 383 U.S. 301, 327-28 (1966).



Peggy D