Democracy has been a part of the founding of the United States of America ever since it was still just a group of colonies. It has always been strived for, and what made the settlers leave Europe and their lives behind to start over. This dream of being able to live free from being ruled to being able to have an equal say in their own nation is what drew them to America. But has America always been a democracy? No, it has not, it may have given the fruits of a democratic lifestyle to those fortunate enough to be born a male or with white skin, but for the women, and those who were first brought here as slaves, they were not given this gift of Democracy, at least not for quite some time and after a few key revisions to our Constitution.
One key element to determining whether a government can be considered a democracy would be the power of the people to express their political views in the form of voting for or against policies and legislation to help align the government with the views of its people. The first group which this was withheld from would be Women. It was not until the Nineteenth Amendment was added to the constitution that white women were allowed to vote in elections. This restriction before this limited the power of the people to the white males of the period, while the women were expected not to involve themselves in politics. After the passing of the 19th Amendment, one of the barriers to true democracy in the United States was removed, but there was still another that needed to be cleared to lead America to Democracy and that was to allow all races the right to vote.
The problem was that until the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was made law, African Americans males were unable to vote or it was made impossible through bureaucratic means such as difficult voting literacy tests or complex voter registration processes which made it almost impossible for those of lesser education and even some with higher education to exercise their right to vote. With the introduction of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, in addition to prohibiting jurisdictions from requiring literacy tests:
The Act contains several specific prohibitions on conduct that may interfere with a person's ability to cast an effective ballot. One of these provisions is Section 201, which prohibits any jurisdiction from requiring an individual to comply with any "test or device" to register to vote or cast a ballot. The term "test or device" encompasses literacy tests,...