The Jelly Bean Test

In the history of our country, not everyone who wanted to was able to vote. There are many who are hoping that you won’t take the time to register or vote. Your vote is your voice. They are hoping for your silence. Your vote matters. Don’t let them take that away from you.

They Don't Want You To Vote

A vote is the best way of getting the kind of country and the kind of world you want.”– Harry S. Truman

Before 1965, many state governments in the American South administered ‘tests’ to African American prospective voters. These tests were used to prevent African Americans from registering to vote. One of these such tests was the ‘Jelly Beans’ test.

Registrars would ask prospective Black voters to guess the number of jelly beans in a jar. If they would guess incorrectly – and of course no one guessed correctly — they were denied the right to register to vote. These tactics denied eligible Black citizens the right to exercise their most sacred duty of citizenship, voting.

Following the murder of voting rights activist Jimmie Lee Jackson, a group of civil rights activists met on March 7, 1965 at Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church in Selma, Alabama. The marchers planned to march from the city of Selma to the state’s Capitol in Montgomery to address Governor George Wallace about Jackson’s murder. They also wanted to demonstrate the desire of African-American citizens to exercise their constitutional right to vote. The estimated 600 marchers were led by a 25-year old civil rights activist named John Lewis and the Reverend Hosea Williams. As the marchers made their way from the church, they were met at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge by state and county troopers. 

After refusing Commanding officer John Cloud’s order to disband, the troopers stormed the marchers, pushing many to the ground. The marchers were tear-gassed and beaten.

The brutal attack was televised, allowing the world to see the consequences of Jim Crow.

The marchers’ nonviolent direct actions highlighted racial injustices in the segregated American South. The attack, dubbed ‘Bloody Sunday’ contributed to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

An attack on voting rights is an attack on democracy. The push to limit access to the ballot box is as old as this country. It was first achieved by restricting citizenship, and later accomplished by suppressing the rights of citizens. Now, it’s achieved by convincing people their vote doesn’t matter. Through self-disenfranchisement, institute laws that make it harder for citizens to exercise their right to vote. 

Your vote matters. 

The people that lined up to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge in 1965 knew that the only way to force change was at the ballot box. We must vote.

Jelly Bean Test

Our campaign is challenging you to get registered to vote by going to vote.gov, and to vote for this November 8th.

We’re also holding our own jelly bean test, so you’d know what people went through to do what you can so easily do, right now.

Send us your guess. How many jelly beans are in this jar. The closest guess wins the jar of jelly beans (yummy!) and a limited edition framed poster shown above. If you follow up and send us a picture of you with your IVoted sticker, we will share it on our social media and website.

Your vote is your voice. Your vote matters, now more than ever!

 

 Submit your guess below ⬇ 

 

How Many Jelly Beans? Send Us Your Guess and Win!

1 + 15 =