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The Voting Rights Act Analytical Essay


In a democratic society, citizens vote freely (JoNel, 2006). The Voting Rights Act of 1965 is among the most effective rules that have extended full political citizenship to blacks in the US (Epstein et al, 2006). President Lyndon signed the Voting Rights Act to be a state law.

It came into existence during the period of Civil Rights movement in the United States. The aim of the law was to outlaw malpractices in the voting process, which included acts such as the availability of literacy tests to provide restrictions to black voters during the voting process. The Act achieved many benefits as it allowed many eligible voters to register and vote (Pildes, 2006).

The Act has contributed to the dramatic increase in black voter turnout. In addition, the it provides that all people have freedom to vote. The Act provides that states that have recorded history of discriminatory practice during voting process should be excluded from making any alterations that may affect voters before getting approval from the US Department of Justice.

The Act has many benefits, particularly to the enforcement provisions that are mainly applied to political subdivisions and states in the south. The act provides that no person with respect to color or race should be discriminated from this freedom.

The Act forms a historic landmark for Civil Rights legislation in the United States. The Act contributed too many advantages including the enforcement of the 15th amendment. Furthermore, it banned discriminative voting practices against black people, as well as, the incorporation of literacy tests nationally (Cascio & Ebonya, 2012).

The Voting Rights Act has expanded political opportunities for minority voters (Adams & Miles, 2008). Obama succeeded among the white voters putting into test the prevailing circumstances of the effects of racial difference which are influenatial to the legal action as provided by section 2 of the Act (Stephen et al,2010).

During the last elections in the US, the success of Obam in some states Obama’s raised doubts about the legitimacy of section 5 (Stephen, et al, 2010). The rights of minority should be guarded by making ammendments in section 5 of the Voting Rights Act (Stephen et al, 2010). This illustrate the rising opinions to impede the Voting Rights Act as set by the regulation.

Kristen (2009) offered a close scrutiny of the question describes at lenghth observations made during the last presidential elections in the United States. Kristen (2009) also delves deep into the race issue, explicitly explaining the importance of the Voting Rights Act in addressing racial discrimination. This is a point that is pertinent to the question at hand, but falls short to fully covering the reason behind the rampant country wide generation on the strength of the Act (Pildes, 2006).

The rule plays an important function of the federal government’s effort to give confidence to minority involvement in the electoral pocess. In addition, the law led to the great alarm in the south due to the conception that the federal government would take over the election process if the process proved to be unfair. In addition, the Act contributes to redistricting process since section 2 of the Act prohibits weakening of the strength of the minority votes.

The voting process may be discriminatory depending on the entirety of the prevailing situation. Thus, the minority group has least opportunity to participate in the voting process than other members of the electorate by having the freedom to elect their chosen representatives. The section 2 of the Act does not allow the enactment of the redistricting plans, as well as, other voting practices adopted through a discriminatory purpose (Grofman and Chandler,1992).

Furthermore, section 5 does not allow the administration of any qualifications required in the voting process, or a standard with respect to the voting process without receiving a go ahead by the Department of justice. The Voting Rights Act is notable because it allows for the creation of districts that are fair and reflects the strength of the minority voters. Debates concerning Voting Rights Act assist in the protection of minorities from discrimination during the voting process.

It promote the formation of congressional districts to address vote intensity and probe further into the question whether it can lead to changes in voter turnout. (Luke and Whitez, 2011). Through the redistricting process, the minority has gained political office. Accordint to Landsberg (2007) he argued that one of the most influential Supreme Court decisions is the establishment of one person, one vote principle to strike down any ineffieicy in the legislature of states such as Alabama.

On the other hand, contributions made by Mas and Moretti (2009) addressed a vital component of the question by bringing the concept of racial discrimination in the previous elections. Racism is prevalent in election processes, thus, the manner of interpretating the evidence should not assume the effect of racial differences in a voting process.

The significant section of the Voting Rights Act has provided a change in the voting system (Anita et al, 2008). This enabled the voter to elect the first black county commissioners of the twentieth century in North Carolina. Black voters disenfranchisement, separate public facilities and the notion of discrimination based on the idea of the second class citizenship are examples of issues addressed by the Act (Vonley, 2010).

As stated by Randon (2009) voter turnout is one of the relevant acts taken by citizens in a democratic state. Voter turnout increases when there exists the freedom to vote. Despite the fact, that voting rights may be imperfect they should remain due to the transformation it has granted the minority group in representation and participation in politics (Grofman and Chandler,1992).

This piece of national legislation assisted in outlawing discriminatory practices during the voting process that had resulted in the widespread disenfranchisement of black voters. It prohibits states from the imposition of any voting regulations that may deny any US citizen the right to vote because of racial discrimination.

Congress had purposed to outlaw the requirement that required voters to pass certain requirements such as literary tests in order to be eligible to vote. This was the chief means which made the southern states discriminated against the black population against exercising the franchise (Grofman and Chandler,1992). However, some of the provisions of the Act have ignited political controversy.

For instance, during the 2006 debate over extensions, some members of the congress, particularly the republican wing made objections to the renewals to be made on the requirements for clearance, which is the Acts outstanding enforcement provision. The arguments put forth represented exceeding limits of the powers of the federal government and assert unwarranted bureaucratic demands, specifically on the southern states that had the tradition of discriminatory practices (Grofman and Chandler,1992).


Adams, C., & Miles,T. (2008). Judging the Voting Rights Act. Columbia Law Review, 108.

Anita,E., Wynes, E., & Quatrucci, L. (2008).Voting Rights in North Carolina: 1982-2006. RENEWTHEVRA.ORG. Web.

Cascio, E., & Ebonya, W. ( 2012).. National Bureau of Economic Research. Web.

Epstein, D., Pildes,R., De La Garza, R., and Halloran, S. (2006). The Future of theVoting Rights Act. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.

Grofman, B., & Chandler, D. (1992). Controversies in Minority Voting: The Voting Acts Rights in Perspective. Washington DC: Brookings Institution Press.

JoNel, N., ( 2006). Unfinished Business: the Case for Continuing Special Voting Rights Act Coverage in Florida. University of Miami Law Review 61.1: 52.

Kristen, C.(2009). The Obama Factor: The Impact of the 2008 Presidential Election on Future Voting Rights Act Litigation. HeinOnline. Web.

Landsberg, B., K. (2007). Free at Last to Vote: The Alabama Origins of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Kansas: University Press of Kansas.

Luke, K., & Whitez, I. (2011). African American Turnout in Majority-Minority Districts. Web.

Mas, A., & Moretti, E., (2009). Racial Bias in the 2008 Presidential Election. American Economic Review 99.2 (May): 323-29.

Peyton, M, Seaman, C., B., & Valelly, R. (2006). The End of Preclearance As We Knew It: How the Supreme Court Transformed Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Michigan Journal of Race & Law 11(Spring): 275-325.

Pildes, R., H. (2006). The Future of Voting Rights Policy: From Anti-Discrimination to the Right to Vote. New York University Public Law and Legal Theory Working Papers. Paper 28. Web.

Randon, H., M., (2009). What We Know about Voter-ID Laws, Registration, and Turnout. PS: Political Science & Politics 42: 87–91.

Stephen, A., Persily., N, & Stewart III, C. (2010). Race, Region, and Vote Choice in the 2008 Election: Implications for the Future of the Voting Rights Act. Harvard Law Review.

Volney, R. (2010). Defying Disfranchisement: Black Voting Rights Activism in the Jim Crow South, 1890–1908. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press.

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