The United States Voting Rights Act of 1965 was a landmark bill that outlawed discriminatory voting laws and practices that were fundamental in the disenfranchisement of African Americans.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 effectively prohibited individual state governments from imposing unjust voting qualification prerequisites, practices, or procedures on its citizens. Up until 1965, a number of Southern States instituted policies tied into voting eligibility that prohibited minorities, especially African Americans form participating in voting for the Presidential election.
Specifically, these states would require otherwise qualified citizens and voters to pass literacy tests for the right to vote. These states were a principal action taken by many Southern states to prevent African-Americans (who often time were refused schooling) from exercising their Constitutional right to vote.
The United States voting rights act of 1965 was signed into law by President Lyndon Lyndon B Johnson. President Johnson was an active democrat, who had earlier signed the landmark Civil Rights Act, which was passed a year prior, in 1965. In addition to implementing a new policy, the Voting Rights Act in 1965 established a federal policy that those states who exhibited a history of discriminatory voting practices were to be strictly regulated by the federal government.
The policy stated that those states who passed legislation effectively barring minorities from voting could not implement any change that affected voting without first obtaining the approval from the federal court system or the Department of Justice.
This approval process is known as preclearance. The device was implemented on states whose voting populations were operating at levels less than 50% of the active voting community. The Voting Rights Act of 1965, has been bolstered, renewed, and amended by Congress four times; the most recent came in 2006, when President George W. Bush signed a 25-year extension of the bill.