IN 1870, the Fifteenth Amendment guaranteed African Americans the right to vote, but state laws and local practice (intimidation, tax requirements, education tests, and so on), especially in the South, extremely restricted the voting possibility of nonwhites. It took the civil rights movement and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to overcome these restrictions. Nevertheless unrestricted voting is a vision never to be realized, but always aimed at in a free society. Unrestricted voting must be at least universal, direct, equal, free, and secret.

“Universal” means that all voters in a given entity must have the right to vote. Universality is hampered in voluntary and involuntary ways. Voluntarily, certain groups are excluded, whereby the general acceptance for such exclusions has changed in history and is still ...

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