Wednesday, April 29, 2009

U.S. Voting Rights Act

The Voting Rights Act in the United States is due to come under review in the supreme court shortly. Currently there is a provision whereby some states and/or counties are required to get pre-approval for changes in voting procedures. Typically the jurisdictions included are those who had a history of racial discrimination. Section 5 of the act, as mentioned, is designed to prevent changes that would impinge on the rights of any section of voters. Objections have been lodged against this, despite evidence that it has been an effective preventative measure. Read more about it.

Personally I think that discrimination based on race is still rife in the United States, only now it happens for several different races. In addition the poverty gap is immense and the polarisation of social classes has been noticed as a basis for discrimination. I agree that the Section 5 of the act as it stands, applying to only a handful of areas, is highly divisive. However I believe that, rather than discarding it, they should extend the provision to all states, counties and jurisdictions and reinforce the multi-faceted nature of the anti-discrimination act.

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