Saturday, August 06, 2005

Partisan Fight Over Voting Rights Act

Despite what this man from CITZCOM believes, the Voting Rights Act should be an fiery issue.

According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the reauthorization of the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965, has emerged as a heated partisan issue, especially in the South, which has long felt discriminated against by the law. (Go to Democracy Cell Project for a comprehensive discription of the legislation)

Democratic Chairman Howard Dean has used the opportunitiy of reauthorization, which is anticipated in 2007, to castigate the GOP, who has not shown the same vocal support for reauthorization as the Democrats have. However, Abigail Thernstrom, vice-chairwoman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, opposes the act, citing the controversial Section Five, which requires nine states, all in the South, to get approval of all changes in the voting process by the federal government.

The "changes" of course, include congressional redistricting. As always, the philosophy that almost every politician shares emerges: "redistricting is fine, as long as you are in charge". Unfortunately for the governments of Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, and several others, they are not allowed engage in shameless redistricting techniques to create the types of radically partisan congressional delegations like the other 41 states*.


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