Before the Voting Rights Act, In Georgia's rural counties a typical registration process for an Afro-American citizen went something like this:
You had to go down to the courthouse to register on a day when the Registrar was taking voter applications. This meant you had to take off work with or without your employer's permission to register. And in counties with large Black populations if a white employer gave such permission, or failed to fire an Afro-American who tried to vote, he might be driven out of business by economic retaliation from the Citizens Council.
If the Registrar was willing to take your application, you filled out the form and then swore a legally-binding oath under penalty of perjury that you had answered the questions truthfully.
You then had to return to the courthouse at some later date chosen by the Registrar. At that appointed date and time you would be examined to see if you met Georgia's voter qualifications. There were two different ways of proving you were "qualified" to vote:
— © Bruce Hartford