“The extension of the franchise to black citizens was strongly resisted. Among others, the Ku Klux Klan . . . attempted to prevent the 15th Amendment from being enforced by violence and intimidation. Two decisions in 1876 by the Supreme Court narrowed the scope of enforcement under the Enforcement Act and the Force Act, and, together with the end of Reconstruction marked by the removal of federal troops after the Hayes-Tilden Compromise of 1877, resulted in a climate in which violence could be used to depress black voter turnout and fraud could be used to undo the effect of lawfully cast votes.” — “Before the Voting Rights Act,” Justice Department.
“The Justice Department is significantly reducing the number of federal observers stationed inside polling places in next month’s election at the same time that voters will face strict new election laws in more than a dozen states. . . . For the past five decades, the Justice Department has sent hundreds of observers and poll monitors across the country to ensure that voters are not intimidated or discriminated against when they cast their ballots. But U.S. officials say that a 2013 Supreme Court decision now limits the federal government’s role inside polling places on Election Day.” — The Post, Oct. 6.