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Voting Rights Act
On this day in 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act — finally creating a means to enforce the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. Because of low voter registration or participation in the 1964 presidential election, seven states (including Virginia) were made subject to review of any change in voting laws that might unfairly limit participation in elections. The law greatly increased access to the ballot throughout the South. Its influence sharply declined after 2013, when the Supreme Court, under Chief Justice John Roberts, effectively gutted the law. To learn more, visit Our Documents and the U.S. Justice Department’s Section 4 page.