The Soldiers Vote Act abolishes the poll tax as a prerequisite for voting by members of the armed services.

During the Southern election campaigns of 1942, lynchings resurge as an intimidation tactic. In Mississippi, for example, three lynchings occur in a single week. Throughout the course of 1942, black soldiers are beaten or shot by whites in the South. Concerned about the pervasive crisis in black morale, the federal government for the first time becomes involved in the prosecution of lynchings.

On February 19, President Roosevelt issues Executive Order 9066. It authorizes the Secretary of War and his subordinates to designate military zones from which "any or all persons May be excluded." All persons of Japanese, German, and Italian ancestry residing in "zone No. 1," which includes most of the Western United States, are ordered to give military authorities notice if they decide to change residence. On May 3, Lieutenant General John L. DeWitt issues Civilian Exclusion Order 34, which states that all persons of Japanese ancestry -- including both Japanese resident aliens and American citizens-- are to be removed from Military Area No. 1 and placed in internment camps. Many of them remain in the camps until 1946.