JFK CREATED COMMISSION ON VOTING RIGHTS 50 YEARS AGO
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) Fifty years ago today, March 30, 1963, President John F. Kennedy signed Executive Order #11100 creating the Commission on Registration & Voting Participation.
In a statement released by the White House, President Kennedy said...
"(Last month) I recommended legislation to protect voting rights against discrimination on the basis of race or color (but) the problems are (not) limited to this type of discrimination."
JFK went on to point out that 8 million Americans had been unable to vote in the 1960 presidential election "because they were unable to comply with state & local residential requirements" & that millions more were kept from voting because of "limitations on absentee registration & voting."
The purpose of The President's Commission on Registration & Voting Participation, a 10 member body chaired by Richard M. Scammon*, was to"study the reasons for the failure of many citizens to register & vote...including laws which restrict registration & voting on the basis of residence, economic status, registration procedures, (&) absentee voting provisions."
*Richard M. Scammon (1915-2001) was appointed director of the US Bureau of the Census by JFK in 1961. Scammon was born in Minnesota & earned political science degrees at the University of Minnesota & Michigan. He served in the army in WWII. After leaving government service, he worked for NBC News.
Richard M. Scammon
Director of the US Census Bureau