Under the Dome

North Carolina literacy test may finally be on way out

After 113 years, North Carolina's literacy test may be on the way out.
The House Elections Committee unanimously approved a constitutional amendment repealing the literacy test for voting on Wednesday.

The test was passed by the Democratic-controlled legislature in 1899 and approved by the voters in 1900 as means to exclude black voters.

It was outlawed in 1964 when Congress passed the Voting Rights Act. But a voter referendum to repeal the literacy test in 1970 failed.

Democratic Rep. Kelly Alexander, the son of a prominent Charlotte civil rights leader, spoke in favor of the measure in committee. But standing at his side were several Republican lawmakers, who were co-sponsors.

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