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Today, when it seems that so many are apathetic about exercising the franchise, I thought it fitting to recognize the anniversary of  Lawrence Aaron Nixon who walked into the same El Paso polling place that had denied him his ballot twenty years before. On that day, July 22, 1944, he voted in a Democratic primary.

In 1923 the Texas legislature passed a law prohibiting blacks from voting in Democratic primaries. Nixon’s case was argued twice before the United States Supreme Court. In the first case Nixon v. Herndon, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote the decision that Nixon had been unlawfully deprived of his rights under the Fourteenth Amendment. In 1932 Justice Benjamin Cardozo ruled in Nixon’s favor again, in Nixon v. Condon, holding that political parties are “custodians of official power… Read the complete story from the Texas Historical Association more:

Students holding buttons at voter registration

Source: Ariel Skelley / Getty

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