Was preventing blacks from voting used as a pretext to prevent poor whites?

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,536
At the peak of low turnout in the first decade of the 20th century, about half as many whites voted in the former Confederacy as in the north. At the time of the Civil War, only South Carolina and Louisiana had property requirements for voting.

Some restrictions specifically targeted blacks, but more of them made it difficult for poor people in general to vote. Was this done to defeat populist movements and keep control in the hands of the elite? Did other changes, such as the secret ballot and the reduced wealth of planters make it harder for the elite to maintain control as before the war? Were southern elections ever very democratic, particularly in states like Virginia and South Carolina?
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,536
More than that. There were residency requirements for the state and the county; ban on voting with a felony or sometimes a misdemeanor conviction; hard to access poling places with short hours; literacy tests.

There were additional restriction aimed more clearly at blacks, particularly in the deep south. For example, physical intimidation; grandfather clauses to literacy tests, where you could vote if your grandfather did; in some states, like registrar could choose the questions, and ask impossible literacy questions of black voters.

There are many more examples of both categories.