Tag Archives: mississippi

What is Preclearance?

The Voting Rights Act was enacted to make “the promise of the right to vote under the 15th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution a reality, ninety-five years after [its] passage”. Under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, sixteen states are required to submit any redistricting plans to the U.S. Department of Justice for preclearance. Preclearance is defined as the process of seeking U.S. Department of Justice approval for all changes related to voting. Section 5 of the Act requires that the United States Department of Justice or a three-judge panel of the United States District Court for District of Columbia “preclear” any attempt to change “any voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure with respect to voting…” in any “covered jurisdiction”. Continue Reading

2011 State Ballot Initiatives: Results and Implications

Seven states held off-year general elections on Tuesday, and four of these—Mississippi, Maine, Ohio, and Washington—featured initiatives on their ballots. Initiatives are distinct from referendums in that they are put on the ballot directly by the people, whereas referendums are placed on the ballot by legislatures. Of the nine initiatives featured in Tuesday’s elections, voters… Continue Reading