High School Students
Color Conscious Or Colorblind: A Factor in Political Representation
Handout 1: Enforcement of Voting Rights
(download this handout as a word document)
"Enforcement of Voting Rights" -- United States Code (1994)
42 U.S.C. 1973 (a)
"No voting qualification or prerequisite to voting or standard, practice, or procedure shall be imposed or applied by any State or political subdivision in a manner which results in a denial or abridgment of the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color ... as provided in subsection (b) of this section."
42 U.S.C. 1973 (b)
"A violation of subsection (a) of this section is established if, based on the totality of circumstances, it is shown that the political processes leading to nomination or election in the State or political subdivision are not equally open to participation by members of a class of citizens protected by subsection (a) of this section in that its members have less opportunity than other members of the electorate to participate in the political process and to elect representatives of their choice. The extent to which members of a protected class have been elected to office in the State or political subdivision is one circumstance which may be considered: Provided, That nothing in this section establishes a right to have members of a protected class elected in numbers equal to their proportion of the population."
42 U.S.C. 1973 (c)
"[W]henever a State or political subdivision with respect to which the prohibitions set forth in section 1973 (a) of this title are ... in effect shall enact or seek to administer any voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure with respect to voting different from that in force or effect on November 1, 1964, ... [or November 1, 1968, or November 1, 1972, as the case may be] ..., such state or subdivision may institute an action in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia for a declamatory judgment that such qualification, prerequisite, standard, practice, or procedure does not have the purpose and will not have the effect of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race or color. ..."
- Refer to the text when needed during the discussion. The conversation is not a test of memory. You are aiming at understanding ideas, values, and issues.
- Discuss ideas rather than each other’s opinions.
- It’s OK to "pass" when asked to contribute.
- Don’t stay confused; ask for clarification.
- Stick to the point; make notes about ideas you want to come back to.
- Speak up so that all can hear you.
- Listen carefully.
- Talk to each other not just to the leader. Everyone is responsible for the discussion.
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