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Updated: 7/7/2020
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Storyboard Text

  • SMITH V. ALLWRIGHT, 1944
  • Lonnie Smith, a black dentist, was rejected from voting in the Democratic Primary due to his race.
  • No. This is a white only primary.
  • Can I participate in choosing this party's candidate?
  • A 1923 State Law in Texas allowed for political parties to set their own rules, allowing them to require all voters to be white.
  • WHITES ONLY
  • Smith sued the local election official S.S. Allwright for denying his right to vote.
  • I have a right to vote in this primary election.
  • Since the election in question was for a state election, Smith challenged the Party's independence in this situation.
  • You cannot discriminate in a matter of the state.
  • When this case reached the Supreme Court, they ruled 8-1 that this practice was a denial of the 14th Amendment.
  • This is unconstitutional!
  • As a result, Black people gained the ability to actively participate in Texas politics.
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