"Since the end of Reconstruction, which followed the Civil War, all elected officials in South Carolina had been white, a situation partly secured by the 'white primary.' The white primary took place before proper elections, and by law, only whites could vote in it. Primary voters chose candidates for the Democratic Party, the monopoly party in state politics,* and after the candidates were tapped, they were shoed-in to power in the main election. In 1944, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a similar primary in Texas was unconstitutional, but South Carolina refused to abandon the practice."
—Edward Ball, Slaves in the Family (NY: Ballantine Books, 1998), 380