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Knox, the former chairman of the State Democratic Executive Committee who had presided over the constitutional convention, admitted that the "true philosophy of the movement" had been to disfranchise blacks and poor whites in order to "place the power of government in the hands of the intelligent and virtuous" (quoted on p.
But it was not easy to disfranchise blacks without raising the serious possibility (which became the reality) that many whites would be written out of politics too.
Considering this law in its historical setting and considering too the actual operation and inescapable effect of the law, it is evident that the test is a sophisticated scheme to disfranchise Negroes.
The decline was at least in part a result of passage of a new suffrage law in 1894, the Walton Act, that could be used to disfranchise some illiterate voters.
Section 5 safeguards voters from proposed discriminatory laws like Act R54, which threatens to disfranchise many voters of color.
A hundred years ago Virginia drafted a new state constitution designed to disfranchise African American voters.
While pledging not to disfranchise any whites, they advocated provisions that would remove the less educated, less organized, more impoverished whites from the electorate as well--and that would ensure one-party, Democratic rule, which is precisely what happened from this moment forward through most of the 20th century in the South.
Section 5 protects against the implementation of this type of law, which threatens to disfranchise many students of color who seek to exercise their protected right to vote.