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The University of Dayton
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VOTING RIGHTS ACT OF 1965

Reaffirmation or Requiem for the Voting Rights Act?

Copyright 1996, The American Civil Liberties Union

Section 2

A nationwide provision that prohibits the use of voting laws, practices or procedures that discriminate in either purpose or effect on the basis of race, color, or membership in a minority language group. All types of voting practices and procedures are covered by Section 2, including those relating to registration, voting, candidacy qualification, and types of election systems.

Section 4

Sets forth the formula under which a political jurisdiction is "covered" by and, therefore, subject to the preclearance provisions of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.

Section 4 has various dates that trigger coverage, e.g., if a jurisdiction used a "test or device" such as a literacy test as of November 1, 1964 and less than 50 percent of the age eligible citizens were registered or voted in 1964, it became a covered jurisdiction. Section 4 further covers a jurisdiction if the jurisdiction provided English-Only voter registration/election materials, contained a registered voting age citizenry (or citizens actually voting) of less than 50 percent, and contained a single language minority group of greater than 5 percent of its citizens.

Covered jurisdictions include the entire States of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia and counties and towns in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, South Dakota and Wyoming.

Section 5

This section was designed to prevent states and other governmental entities with a history of voting discrimination from continuing to devise new ways to discriminate after the abolishment of prior discriminatory practices. Section 5 requires certain covered jurisdictions to submit any proposed voting changes in their election law or practices, prior to implementation, for federal approval by either the Attorney General of the United States or the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia. Covered jurisdictions must demonstrate that the proposed voting changes do not have the purpose or the effect of discriminating against protected racial or language minorities. This process is referred to as the preclearance process.

Minority Language Groups: The minority language groups covered by the Voting Rights Act are Native Americans, Asian Americans, Alaska Natives, and persons of Spanish heritage.

Minority Language Provisions: The Voting Rights Act was amended in 1975 and 1992 to include political jurisdictions with language minority groups and requires such jurisdictions to furnish bi-lingual assistance to language minority citizens at all stages of the voting process and in all elections.

 
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Same level:
Introduction ] HISTORY ] SHAW V. RENO ] Current Supreme Court Cases ] Race Conscious Districting ] Conclusion ] Glossary ] [ Section 2 - Voting Rights Act ]
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Voting Rights Act Decision Draws Senator's Ire ] Voting Rights and African Americans ] Debunking an Urban Legend: Death of Voting Rights ] Reaffirmation or Requiem for the Voting Rights Act ] Race and Election Irregularities on November 7 2000 ] Bush v Gore Through the Lens of Race ] Felon Disenfranchisement: the Modern Day Poll Tax ] Effect of the Voter Rights Act on Indians ] Reconstruction and Felon Disenfranchisement ]
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[Race and Racial Groups] [Citizenship Rights]  [Justice and Race] [Patterns of Basic Needs] [Intersectionality Issues] [Human Rights]

 

Always Under Construction!

Always Under Construction!

Copyright @ 1997, 2008.
Vernellia R. Randall

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In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, some material on this website is provided for comment, background information, research and/or educational purposes only, without permission from the copyright owner(s), under the "fair use" provisions of the federal copyright laws. These materials may not be distributed for other purposes without permission of the copyright owner(s).


Last Updated:
Wednesday, April 25, 2012  

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Thanks to Derrick Bell and his pioneer work: 
Race, Racism and American Law
(1993).