Congress passed a series of laws known as the Reconstruction Acts in 1867. These laws required the former Confederate states to dissolve existing state governments, register all eligible men (white or African-American) to vote, and then hold conventions to create new state constitutions. To be readmitted to the United States, each state’s constitution had to accept the end of slavery and adopt the 14th amendment, which guaranteed equal rights for all men, regardless of race. Florida’s voters selected delegates to a state constitutional convention in November 1867. The convention met on January 20, 1868, and the new constitution was ratified by the voters the following May.
voters in such county, and for the returns of elections; and shall also provide that after the completion, from time to time, of such registration, no person not duly registered according to law shall be allowed to vote.
Section 7. The Legislature shall enact laws requiring educational qualifications for electors after the year one thousand eight hundred and eighty, but no such laws shall be made applicable to any elector who may have registered or voted at any election previous thereto.