According to the New York Times, New Hampshire Secretary of State William Gardner recently said that voter restrictions such as literacy tests and poll taxes “worked” in the past. Gardner was hand-picked by Trump to serve on the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.
The Times reports, “Mr. Gardner said he did not necessarily favor imposing new qualifications for registering and voting, but he added that when burdens like poll taxes and literacy tests were imposed on citizens and registering often required a trip to the local courthouse, voter turnout was far higher than it is now.”
Up until 1962, poll taxes were enforced to prevent black people from voting in the Jim Crow South. The United States House of Representatives’ Office of History, Art and Archives states that “the poll tax exemplified ‘Jim Crow’ laws, developed in the post-Reconstruction South, which aimed to disenfranchise black voters and institute segregation.”
In the Jim Crow South, literacy tests were outlawed after the Voting Act of 1865, however, it wasn’t until 1970 that they would be abolished nationwide.
Kris Kobach, who was once called the “most racist politician in America” and “the king of voter suppression,” is the leader of the Election Integrity commission.
The commission recently asked several states to give them voters’ names, addresses, voter information, and private data. As a result, 3,000 voters turned in their voter registrations. The group is also known for making baseless claims of voter fraud in New Hampshire, Colorado, and California.
Jim Crow were state and locals laws used to enforce racial segregation in the southern states of the country [Southern United States]. These laws were enacted during the Reconstruction Era [Period] and continued on until 1965. The laws affected the lives of millions.
During the Reconstruction Era, federal laws protected the civil rights of the freedmen – former Black American slaves and former free Blacks – in the south, in states that were part of the Confederate. But when the 1870s rolled in, the Democrats slowly regained power in the legislatures by employing rebellious paramilitary groups like the Red Shirts, White League and even the Ku Klux Klan [KKK].
The Jim Crow Laws also made it difficult for the blacks to exercise their right to vote.
Democrats passed laws to make voter registration and electoral rules more restrictive, with the result that political participation by most blacks and many poor whites began to decrease. Between 1890 and 1910, ten of the eleven former Confederate states, starting with Mississippi, passed new constitutions or amendments that effectively disenfranchised most blacks and tens of thousands of poor whites through a combination of poll taxes, literacy and comprehension tests, and residency and record-keeping requirements. Grandfather clauses temporarily permitted some illiterate whites to vote but gave no relief to most blacks.
Voter turnout dropped drastically through the South as a result of such measures. In Louisiana, by 1900, black voters were reduced to 5,320 on the rolls, although they comprised the majority of the state’s population. By 1910, only 730 blacks were registered, less than 0.5% of eligible black men. “In 27 of the state’s 60 parishes, not a single black voter was registered any longer; in 9 more parishes, only one black voter was.