The Voting Rights Act, adopted initially in 1965 and extended in 1970, 1975, and 1982, is generally considered the most successful piece of civil rights legislation ever adopted by the United States Congress. The Act codifies and effectuates the 15th Amendment's permanent guarantee that, throughout the nation, no person shall be denied the right to vote on account of race or color. In addition, the Act contains several special provisions that impose even more stringent requirements in certain jurisdictions throughout the country.
President Johnson signed the legislation into law on August 6, 1965...applying a nationwide prohibition against the denial or abridgment of the right to vote on the literacy tests on a nationwide basis.
Section 5 freezes election practices or procedures in certain states until the new procedures have been subjected to review. This means that voting changes in covered jurisdictions may not be used until that review has been obtained.