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2006

Washington University in St. Louis

Election Law

Voting rights

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Democracy, Race, And Multiculturalism In The Twenty-First Century: Will The Voting Rights Act Ever Be Obsolete?, Sheryll D. Cashin Jan 2006

Democracy, Race, And Multiculturalism In The Twenty-First Century: Will The Voting Rights Act Ever Be Obsolete?, Sheryll D. Cashin

Washington University Journal of Law & Policy

In this Essay I reflect on the impact of the Voting Rights Act (“the Act”) and what growing racial diversity portends for American democracy in the twenty-first century. The enduring quandary of the Act, in my view, is that it attempts to ensure meaningful political participation for the traditionally disenfranchised while operating against a backdrop of still-divisive race relations. The historic cleavage between blacks and whites in the South remains a centuries-old conundrum, familiar to any student of American politics. Such racial divides are less pronounced nationally. But it remains the case that race and political affiliation are substantially correlated ...