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News Link • Voting - Election Integrity

Harvard students take the 1964 Louisiana Literacy Test that black voters had to pass...

• By David Mccormack for MailOnline

A group of Harvard students were recently asked by their tutor to sit the 1964 Louisiana Literacy Test - a notorious document with confusing questions that was used to stop black citizens from voting.

Just 50 years ago, states in the South asked voters who couldn't provide proof of a fifth grade education to pass the test in order to be eligible to cast a ballot.

The test was intended to disenfranchise African-Americans, who in order to pass had to correctly answer all 30 questions in 10 minutes.

Despite their Ivy League pedigree, none of the students managed to pass the test and their reactions as they struggled to make sense of the obtuse questions was filmed.

According to Carl Miller, a resident tutor at Harvard and a fellow at the law school, the purpose of sitting the test was to learn about how unjustly rigged the electoral process was at that time.

'Exactly 50 years ago, states in the American South issued this exact test to any voter who could not "prove a fifth grade education,'" said Miller.

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