Report of the President's Commission on Registration and Voting Participation, November 1963

Files

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Title

Report of the President's Commission on Registration and Voting Participation, November 1963

Description

Report of the President's Commission on Registration and Voting Participation. The bipartisan commission was created by Executive Order on March 30, 1963 by President John F. Kennedy. The Commission was chaired by Richard M. Scammon, Census Director. 

The report was transmitted on November 26, 1963, just days after Kennedy's assassination. In February, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson mailed this report along with a letter to Eleanor P. Sheppard, Mayor of Richmond, Virginia. 

In its opening summary, the Commission wrote: 

"One-third of our adults do not vote in presidential elections, and more than half do not vote in congressional elections. The reasons for America's low voter participation are both psychological and legal. 

Psychological causes of low turnout must be attacked by education and educational programs. Every citizen and group has a responsibility to join in this effort. 

The Commission endorses the practice of comprehensive register-and-vote campaigns to encourage and inform potential voters. We specifically call for a new effort by our schools in the teaching of citizenship, and we underscore the great responsibility of parents in citizenship education. 

The Commission strongly believes that effective two-party competition in all areas of the Nation will build and maintain interest in public affairs and lead to greater voter participation. We commend the two party system and all efforts to strengthen that system. 

Restrictive legal and administrative procedures in registration and voting disfranchise millions. To overcome such restrictions, taking into account the disparity in law and practice amont the States, we recommend the following specific standards:

[Twenty-one standards are listed, including the elimination of literacy tests and poll taxes and the extension of voting to persons eighteen years of age.] 

The implementation of these standards will guarantee the right to vote to every citizen, adduring in fact what we proclain in theory--the supremacy of the individual in American political life." 

Complete report available through HathiTrust.

Creator

President's Commission on Registration and Voting Participation

Source

M 277, Box 11, Eleanor P. Sheppard papers, 1924 - 1978, James Branch Cabell Library, VCU Libraries

Publisher

Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office

Date

1963 November

Contributor

Special Collections and Archives, James Branch Cabell Library, VCU Libraries

Rights

NO COPYRIGHT - UNITED STATES

The organization that has made the Item available believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries. Please refer to the organization that has made the Item available for more information. 

http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/NoC-US/1.0/ 

Acknowledgment of the Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries as a source is requested.

Notes

Learn more: 
Visit of the Commission on Registration & Voting Participation, 12:25PM, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum 

Papers of John F. Kennedy. Presidential Papers. White House Staff Files of Lee C. White. General File, 1954-1964. Commission on Registration and Voting Participation, 23 April 1963-30 March 1964

Papers of John F. Kennedy. Presidential Papers. White House Staff Files of Lee C. White. General File, 1954-1964. Commission on Registration and Voting Participation, 21 December 1962–30 March 1963 

Letter to Eleanor P. Sheppard from Lyndon B. Johnson, February 10, 1964

Citation

President's Commission on Registration and Voting Participation, “Report of the President's Commission on Registration and Voting Participation, November 1963,” Social Welfare History Image Portal, accessed September 17, 2019, https://images.socialwelfare.library.vcu.edu/items/show/476.