Essay The Voting Rights Act Of 1965

1144 Words Nov 15th, 2016 5 Pages
Before the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, African Americans were not able to exercise their right of voting. This meant that they could not possibly elect a candidate who addresses their concerns. Nonetheless, when the Voting Rights Act was ratified, African Americans were able to have a voice in their political opinion. In addition, this act was expanded to help benefit other minorities such as Asian Americans and Hispanics; multi-lingual ballots were an example. However, even though minorities gained these benefits, there is still a low amount of political power commensurate compared to their high population. This is because of lowered political efficacy caused by individual and institutional factors. Individual factors include demographics such as age. Institutional factors include higher population states not being competitive and candidates focusing on “regular voters.” In order for minorities to have an increase in political participation, they need to have an increase in political efficacy, meaning that they believe that their participation will have an impact on elections and policies. This can be accomplished if candidates reach out to minorities by making campaign advertisements in multiple languages and holding rallies in areas with more minorities. Ethnicities combined with age are individual factors that play a huge role in voter turnout. Tom File stated in his article, Young Adult Voting: An Analysis of Presidential Elections, 1964-2012, “Older…

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