On this day in 1869 the 15th amendment to the Constitution ,which concerns voting rights, was passed. The amendment made it against the law to deny a citizen the right to vote based on that citizen’s “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” Loopholes however were written into the law causing Charles Sumner to abstain, as the legislation did not prevent the imposition of poll taxes and literacy tests. A century later such restrictions were removed by the Voting Rights Act. Under the guise of voter identification requirements, the Republican party is attempting to reintroduce new bars to voting. Tennessee failed to adopt the 15th amendment until 1997.
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