Democratic Injustice


Slavery (early 1600s-1865)

  • NJ allowed anyone who owned a certain amount of property to vote, but since slaves were never allowed to own property, there were no Black voters 1776 Constitution  

  • While this technically allowed free Black men and women to vote, there were other restrictions in place, such as property requirements and literacy tests, which meant voting rights for Black people were nonexistent.  

Voting Restricted to White Men (1807-1870) 

  • In 1807NJ became the first Northern state to legally restrict voting to only white men, a complete about-face on previous policies that allowed women and free Black people to vote. 

1844 Constitution  

  • Constitutionalized the restriction of voting to only property-owning white men.  

1981 NJ Gubernational Election 

  • During this election, the NJ Republican party dispatched “flying squads” to challenge fraudulent voting in Black communities.  

  •  Black voters across the state were intimidated with weapons and illegal signs.  

Racialized Disenfranchisement (1870-Present)

  • There continue to be systematic attempts to ensure that Black votes are not cast or counted 
  • The restriction of voting rights for those with criminal convictions disproportionately affect Black people, since they are also disproportionately targeted by the criminal justice system. 

  • Across the country, discriminatory voter suppression bills have been introduced following the 2020 elections, including requiring ID and purging voter registrations for those who have not voted in recent elections. 

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