The Voting Rights Act: Factors that Influenced Its Creation and Most Recent Renewal
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Why did Congress, roughly 50 years after its initial enactment, renew the Voting Rights Act? In terms of the 2006 renewal of the Act, I found that interest groups had the most sway over members’ votes because of the number of interest groups involved in the fight to protect minority voting rights and the sheer magnitude of the coalition’s successes. Both political parties and the President had a medium impact on legislators’ votes. All members of the Democratic Party as well as most Republicans impacted the eventual renewal of the VRA by firmly standing behind the extension of the Act and voting in favor of the Act. However, some Republicans influenced the renewal of the Act by causing a rebellion and refusing to vote in favor of the VRA. The President also affected the 2006 extension of the VRA because he publicly stood behind the Act and encouraged Congress to act similarly. Finally, public outcry did not significantly impact the renewal of the Act because the level of vote dilution had declined dramatically since the creation of the Act and public outrage over vote dilution had simmered.
Franklin and Marshall College Archives, Undergraduate Honors Thesis 2007
- F&M Theses Collection