How did the Voting Rights Act of 1965 change politics in the South?

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mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Voting Right Act changed politics in the South. This law allowed the federal government to register voters. It also made voting restrictions, such as the literacy test or the poll tax, illegal. This law impacted politics in the South.

One impact was that more African-Americans were registered to vote. Federal workers handled the registration process. Since African-Americans were registered to vote, black people voted in elections. They were able to elect representatives to Congress and at the local or state level who would represent their interests. This would lead to more laws being passed that helped them. They now had voices in government that would speak about and advocate for issues affecting the African-American community.

Another impact of this law was that many white southerners began to vote for candidates from the Republican Party. Many white southerners viewed the Democratic Party as the party that pushed through many of the civil rights reforms that many white southerners disliked. To some degree, this voting pattern continues today. Many white southerners vote for Republican candidates, and the Republican Party does very well in national elections in the South.

The Voting Rights Act impacted southern politics in several ways.