Alabama Says "Trust Us," I Say "No": Why the Voting Rights Act of 1965 Is More Necessary Than Ever

Via Huffington Post

Six months ago, a federal court ruled that electoral maps drawn by the Republican-dominated Texas legislature were nothing but optical illusions of equality. On paper, they looked as if they were Latino voting districts; in reality, they still favored candidates preferred by white voters and were struck down by the U.S. District court in Washington, D.C.

That's August 2012 -- not August 1965.

Even today, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 remains the final defense against exclusion of minority voters.

The legacy of the Voting Rights Act is a powerful one.

The election and reelection of President Barack Obama was achieved by a diverse coalition of voters that would have been unimaginable just one generation ago. In both races, the president won the majority votes of Latinos, Asian Americans, African Americans, Catholics, Jews, women and young people of all ethnicities and races. Furthermore, studies show that on a national level, the African-American voter turnout rate in November may actually have surpassed that of white voters. According to a study by the Pew Research Center conducted shortly after the presidential election, blacks, who make up 13 percent of the electorate, appeared to have had a higher turnout rate than any other ethnic group or race.

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