Smith V. Allwright
October 27, 2008
Smith V. Allwright
In this case Mr. Allwright was an election official, which he belonged to the Democratic Party of Texas, which was a voluntary association. A black man by the name of Mr. Lonnie Smith wanted to vote during the primaries in 1944. He attempted to cast his vote, but Mr. Allwright denied him access. Mr. Allwright denied many voters while the police watched or blocked other blacks from voting. The idea was to prohibit colored people especially the African Americans from joining the Democratic Party; this also included the Mexican Americans in the South of Texas. The Democratic Party basically dominated the political systems of all the Southern States. (Shaffery, 2002).
The state and local primary elections determined the candidate which would be guaranteed to win the general election. The legal issues were that no one should be barred from casting a vote because of his or her race. A person’s right to vote is secured under the Federal Constitution, and this can not be compromised by the state due to race or a person’s skin color. In the 1940’s, the Supreme Court decided to start destroying any and all devices or machines that had been used to keep the African Americans from voting. (Burns, 2005)
The courts declared white primary unconstitutional. “White primary operated by the Democratic Party in Southern States, before Republicans gained strength in the “one-party south” essentially constituted an election and ruled unconstitutional. (Smith v. Allwright, 1944). “The fifteenth Amendment of the Constitution guarantees that the government of the United States may not prevent a citizen from voting based on race, color or if they were once slaves.” (Davenport, 2007). African Americans and other people of color were required to register in order to secure their vote. Even though, the African Americans and other colored people...