Name three ways that white Southerners restricted African Americans’ right to vote.

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One way was intimidation through hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan. The Klan beat up influential African Americans and stood guard over polling places to ensure minimal black participation. Sometimes they even resorted to lynchings. Another way was a poll tax. Poor whites who promised to support the Democratic Party usually could get access to the funds to vote, but these funds were denied to African Americans, who primarily supported Republicans in elections. Poll taxes were abolished in 1964 as part of the civil rights movement. Another rule was the grandfather clause. This rule stated that if one's grandfather could vote in 1860, then one also had the right to vote. Of course, this ruled out African Americans—even if they were free, they could not legally vote.

A fourth barrier to the polls was the literacy test. As the South did not receive public education until after the war, many poor people in the South could barely read or write. Poor whites who promised to uphold the system were often given the simplest things to read, while African Americans were given a passage from the Constitution to analyze. These barriers, both customary and legal, curtailed African American voter turnout until the Democratic Party regained power in the South after 1877.

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