[USC02] 52 USC Subtitle I: Voting Rights
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52 USC Subtitle I: Voting Rights
From Title 52—VOTING AND ELECTIONS

Subtitle I—Voting Rights

CHAPTER 101—GENERALLY

Sec.
10101.
Voting rights.
10102.
Interference with freedom of elections.

        

§10101. Voting rights

(a) Race, color, or previous condition not to affect right to vote; uniform standards for voting qualifications; errors or omissions from papers; literacy tests; agreements between Attorney General and State or local authorities; definitions

(1) All citizens of the United States who are otherwise qualified by law to vote at any election by the people in any State, Territory, district, county, city, parish, township, school district, municipality, or other territorial subdivision, shall be entitled and allowed to vote at all such elections, without distinction of race, color, or previous condition of servitude; any constitution, law, custom, usage, or regulation of any State or Territory, or by or under its authority, to the contrary notwithstanding.

(2) No person acting under color of law shall—

(A) in determining whether any individual is qualified under State law or laws to vote in any election, apply any standard, practice, or procedure different from the standards, practices, or procedures applied under such law or laws to other individuals within the same county, parish, or similar political subdivision who have been found by State officials to be qualified to vote;

(B) deny the right of any individual to vote in any election because of an error or omission on any record or paper relating to any application, registration, or other act requisite to voting, if such error or omission is not material in determining whether such individual is qualified under State law to vote in such election; or

(C) employ any literacy test as a qualification for voting in any election unless (i) such test is administered to each individual and is conducted wholly in writing, and (ii) a certified copy of the test and of the answers given by the individual is furnished to him within twenty-five days of the submission of his request made within the period of time during which records and papers are required to be retained and preserved pursuant to title III of the Civil Rights Act of 1960 [52 U.S.C. 20701 et seq.]: Provided, however, That the Attorney General may enter into agreements with appropriate State or local authorities that preparation, conduct, and maintenance of such tests in accordance with the provisions of applicable State or local law, including such special provisions as are necessary in the preparation, conduct, and maintenance of such tests for persons who are blind or otherwise physically handicapped, meet the purposes of this subparagraph and constitute compliance therewith.


(3) For purposes of this subsection—

(A) the term "vote" shall have the same meaning as in subsection (e) of this section;

(B) the phrase "literacy test" includes any test of the ability to read, write, understand, or interpret any matter.

(b) Intimidation, threats, or coercion

No person, whether acting under color of law or otherwise, shall intimidate, threaten, coerce, or attempt to intimidate, threaten, or coerce any other person for the purpose of interfering with the right of such other person to vote or to vote as he may choose, or of causing such other person to vote for, or not to vote for, any candidate for the office of President, Vice President, presidential elector, Member of the Senate, or Member of the House of Representatives, Delegates or Commissioners from the Territories or possessions, at any general, special, or primary election held solely or in part for the purpose of selecting or electing any such candidate.

(c) Preventive relief; injunction; rebuttable literacy presumption; liability of United States for costs; State as party defendant

Whenever any person has engaged or there are reasonable grounds to believe that any person is about to engage in any act or practice which would deprive any other person of any right or privilege secured by subsection (a) or (b), the Attorney General may institute for the United States, or in the name of the United States, a civil action or other proper proceeding for preventive relief, including an application for a permanent or temporary injunction, restraining order, or other order. If in any such proceeding literacy is a relevant fact there shall be a rebuttable presumption that any person who has not been adjudged an incompetent and who has completed the sixth grade in a public school in, or a private school accredited by, any State or territory, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico where instruction is carried on predominantly in the English language, possesses sufficient literacy, comprehension, and intelligence to vote in any election. In any proceeding hereunder the United States shall be liable for costs the same as a private person. Whenever, in a proceeding instituted under this subsection any official of a State or subdivision thereof is alleged to have committed any act or practice constituting a deprivation of any right or privilege secured by subsection (a), the act or practice shall also be deemed that of the State and the State may be joined as a party defendant and, if, prior to the institution of such proceeding, such official has resigned or has been relieved of his office and no successor has assumed such office, the proceeding may be instituted against the State.

(d) Jurisdiction; exhaustion of other remedies

The district courts of the United States shall have jurisdiction of proceedings instituted pursuant to this section and shall exercise the same without regard to whether the party aggrieved shall have exhausted any administrative or other remedies that may be provided by law.

(e) Order qualifying person to vote; application; hearing; voting referees; transmittal of report and order; certificate of qualification; definitions

In any proceeding instituted pursuant to subsection (c) in the event the court finds that any person has been deprived on account of race or color of any right or privilege secured by subsection (a), the court shall upon request of the Attorney General and after each party has been given notice and the opportunity to be heard make a finding whether such deprivation was or is pursuant to a pattern or practice. If the court finds such pattern or practice, any person of such race or color resident within the affected area shall, for one year and thereafter until the court subsequently finds that such pattern or practice has ceased, be entitled, upon his application therefor, to an order declaring him qualified to vote, upon proof that at any election or elections (1) he is qualified under State law to vote, and (2) he has since such finding by the court been (a) deprived of or denied under color of law the opportunity to register to vote or otherwise to qualify to vote, or (b) found not qualified to vote by any person acting under color of law. Such order shall be effective as to any election held within the longest period for which such applicant could have been registered or otherwise qualified under State law at which the applicant's qualifications would under State law entitle him to vote.

Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of State law or the action of any State officer or court, an applicant so declared qualified to vote shall be permitted to vote in any such election. The Attorney General shall cause to be transmitted certified copies of such order to the appropriate election officers. The refusal by any such officer with notice of such order to permit any person so declared qualified to vote to vote at an appropriate election shall constitute contempt of court.

An application for an order pursuant to this subsection shall be heard within ten days, and the execution of any order disposing of such application shall not be stayed if the effect of such stay would be to delay the effectiveness of the order beyond the date of any election at which the applicant would otherwise be enabled to vote.

The court may appoint one or more persons who are qualified voters in the judicial district, to be known as voting referees, who shall subscribe to the oath of office required by section 3331 of title 5, to serve for such period as the court shall determine, to receive such applications and to take evidence and report to the court findings as to whether or not at any election or elections (1) any such applicant is qualified under State law to vote, and (2) he has since the finding by the court heretofore specified been (a) deprived of or denied under color of law the opportunity to register to vote or otherwise to qualify to vote, or (b) found not qualified to vote by any person acting under color of law. In a proceeding before a voting referee, the applicant shall be heard ex parte at such times and places as the court shall direct. His statement under oath shall be prima facie evidence as to his age, residence, and his prior efforts to register or otherwise qualify to vote. Where proof of literacy or an understanding of other subjects is required by valid provisions of State law, the answer of the applicant, if written, shall be included in such report to the court; if oral, it shall be taken down stenographically and a transcription included in such report to the court.

Upon receipt of such report, the court shall cause the Attorney General to transmit a copy thereof to the State attorney general and to each party to such proceeding together with an order to show cause within ten days, or such shorter time as the court may fix, why an order of the court should not be entered in accordance with such report. Upon the expiration of such period, such order shall be entered unless prior to that time there has been filed with the court and served upon all parties a statement of exceptions to such report. Exceptions as to matters of fact shall be considered only if supported by a duly verified copy of a public record or by affidavit of persons having personal knowledge of such facts or by statements or matters contained in such report; those relating to matters of law shall be supported by an appropriate memorandum of law. The issues of fact and law raised by such exceptions shall be determined by the court or, if the due and speedy administration of justice requires, they may be referred to the voting referee to determine in accordance with procedures prescribed by the court. A hearing as to an issue of fact shall be held only in the event that the proof in support of the exception disclose the existence of a genuine issue of material fact. The applicant's literacy and understanding of other subjects shall be determined solely on the basis of answers included in the report of the voting referee.

The court, or at its direction the voting referee, shall issue to each applicant so declared qualified a certificate identifying the holder thereof as a person so qualified.

Any voting referee appointed by the court pursuant to this subsection shall to the extent not inconsistent herewith have all the powers conferred upon a master by rule 53(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The compensation to be allowed to any persons appointed by the court pursuant to this subsection shall be fixed by the court and shall be payable by the United States.

Applications pursuant to this subsection shall be determined expeditiously. In the case of any application filed twenty or more days prior to an election which is undetermined by the time of such election, the court shall issue an order authorizing the applicant to vote provisionally: Provided, however, That such applicant shall be qualified to vote under State law. In the case of an application filed within twenty days prior to an election, the court, in its discretion, may make such an order. In either case the order shall make appropriate provision for the impounding of the applicant's ballot pending determination of the application. The court may take any other action, and may authorize such referee or such other person as it may designate to take any other action, appropriate or necessary to carry out the provisions of this subsection and to enforce its decrees. This subsection shall in no way be construed as a limitation upon the existing powers of the court.

When used in the subsection, the word "vote" includes all action necessary to make a vote effective including, but not limited to, registration or other action required by State law prerequisite to voting, casting a ballot, and having such ballot counted and included in the appropriate totals of votes cast with respect to candidates for public office and propositions for which votes are received in an election; the words "affected area" shall mean any subdivision of the State in which the laws of the State relating to voting are or have been to any extent administered by a person found in the proceeding to have violated subsection (a); and the words "qualified under State law" shall mean qualified according to the laws, customs, or usages of the State, and shall not, in any event, imply qualifications more stringent than those used by the persons found in the proceeding to have violated subsection (a) in qualifying persons other than those of the race or color against which the pattern or practice of discrimination was found to exist.

(f) Contempt; assignment of counsel; witnesses

Any person cited for an alleged contempt under this Act shall be allowed to make his full defense by counsel learned in the law; and the court before which he is cited or tried, or some judge thereof, shall immediately, upon his request, assign to him such counsel, not exceeding two, as he may desire, who shall have free access to him at all reasonable hours. He shall be allowed, in his defense to make any proof that he can produce by lawful witnesses, and shall have the like process of the court to compel his witnesses to appear at his trial or hearing, as is usually granted to compel witnesses to appear on behalf of the prosecution. If such person shall be found by the court to be financially unable to provide for such counsel, it shall be the duty of the court to provide such counsel.

(g) Three-judge district court: hearing, determination, expedition of action, review by Supreme Court; single-judge district court: hearing, determination, expedition of action

In any proceeding instituted by the United States in any district court of the United States under this section in which the Attorney General requests a finding of a pattern or practice of discrimination pursuant to subsection (e) of this section the Attorney General, at the time he files the complaint, or any defendant in the proceeding, within twenty days after service upon him of the complaint, may file with the clerk of such court a request that a court of three judges be convened to hear and determine the entire case. A copy of the request for a three-judge court shall be immediately furnished by such clerk to the chief judge of the circuit (or in his absence, the presiding circuit judge of the circuit) in which the case is pending. Upon receipt of the copy of such request it shall be the duty of the chief judge of the circuit or the presiding circuit judge, as the case may be, to designate immediately three judges in such circuit, of whom at least one shall be a circuit judge and another of whom shall be a district judge of the court in which the proceeding was instituted, to hear and determine such case, and it shall be the duty of the judges so designated to assign the case for hearing at the earliest practicable date, to participate in the hearing and determination thereof, and to cause the case to be in every way expedited. An appeal from the final judgment of such court will lie to the Supreme Court.

In any proceeding brought under subsection (c) of this section to enforce subsection (b) of this section, or in the event neither the Attorney General nor any defendant files a request for a three-judge court in any proceeding authorized by this subsection, it shall be the duty of the chief judge of the district (or in his absence, the acting chief judge) in which the case is pending immediately to designate a judge in such district to hear and determine the case. In the event that no judge in the district is available to hear and determine the case, the chief judge of the district, or the acting chief judge, as the case may be, shall certify this fact to the chief judge of the circuit (or, in his absence, the acting chief judge) who shall then designate a district or circuit judge of the circuit to hear and determine the case.

It shall be the duty of the judge designated pursuant to this section to assign the case for hearing at the earliest practicable date and to cause the case to be in every way expedited.

(R.S. §2004; Pub. L. 85–315, pt. IV, §131, Sept. 9, 1957, 71 Stat. 637; Pub. L. 86–449, title VI, §601, May 6, 1960, 74 Stat. 90; Pub. L. 88–352, title I, §101, July 2, 1964, 78 Stat. 241; Pub. L. 89–110, §15, Aug. 6, 1965, 79 Stat. 445.)

References in Text

The Civil Rights Act of 1960, referred to in subsec. (a)(2)(C), is Pub. L. 86–449, May 6, 1960, 74 Stat. 86. Title III of the Civil Rights Act of 1960 is classified generally to chapter 207 (§20701 et seq.) of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Tables.

Rule 53(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, referred to in subsec. (e), is set out in the Appendix to Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

This Act, referred to in subsec. (f), is Pub. L. 85–315, Sept. 9, 1957, 71 Stat. 634, which enacted sections 1975 to 1975e and 1995 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare, and section 295–1 of former Title 5, Executive Departments and Government Officers and Employees, amended this section and sections 1343 and 1861 of Title 28, repealed section 1993 of Title 42, and enacted provisions set out as a note under section 1975 of Title 42.

Codification

Section was formerly classified to section 1971 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare, prior to editorial reclassification and renumbering as this section, and to section 31 of Title 8, Aliens and Nationality.

R.S. §2004 derived from act May 31, 1870, ch. 114, §1, 16 Stat. 140.

In subsec. (e), "section 3331 of title 5" was substituted for "Revised Statutes, section 1757 (5 U.S.C. 16)" on authority of Pub. L. 89–554, §7(b), Sept. 6, 1966, 80 Stat. 631, the first section of which enacted Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

Amendments

1965—Subsecs. (a), (c). Pub. L. 89–110, §15(a), struck out "Federal" before "election" wherever appearing.

Subsecs. (f) to (h). Pub. L. 89–110, §15(b), redesignated subsecs. (g) and (h) as (f) and (g), respectively, and repealed former subsec. (f) which defined "Federal elections".

1964—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 88–352, §101(a), designated existing provisions as par. (1) and added pars. (2) and (3).

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 88–352, §101(b), provided for a rebuttable literacy presumption when a person has not been adjudged an incompetent and has completed the sixth grade of his schooling.

Subsecs. (f), (g). Pub. L. 88–352, §101(c), added subsec. (f) and redesignated former subsec. (f) as (g).

Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 88–352, §101(d), added subsec. (h).

1960—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 86–449, §601(b), permitted the State to be joined as a party defendant in cases where officials of a State or subdivision thereof are alleged to have committed acts or practices constituting a deprivation of any rights or privileges secured by subsection (a) of this section, and authorized commencement of the proceeding against the State where an official has resigned or has been relieved of his office and no successor has assumed such office.

Subsecs. (e), (f). Pub. L. 86–449, §601(a), added subsec. (e) and redesignated former subsec. (e) as (f).

1957Pub. L. 85–315, §131, substituted "Voting rights" for "Race, color, or previous condition not to affect right to vote" in section catchline, designated existing provisions as subsec. (a), and added subsecs. (b) to (e).

Short Title of 2009 Act

Pub. L. 111–84, div. A, title V, §575, Oct. 28, 2009, 123 Stat. 2318, provided that: "This subtitle [subtitle H (§§575–589) of title V of div. A of Pub. L. 111–84, see Tables for classification] may be cited as the 'Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act'."

Short Title of 2006 Act

Pub. L. 109–246, §1, July 27, 2006, 120 Stat. 577, as amended by Pub. L. 110–258, §1, July 1, 2008, 122 Stat. 2428, provided that: "This Act [see Tables for classification] may be cited as the 'Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, Coretta Scott King, César E. Chávez, Barbara C. Jordan, William C. Velásquez, and Dr. Hector P. Garcia Voting Rights Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006'."

Short Title of 2002 Act

Pub. L. 107–252, §1(a), Oct. 29, 2002, 116 Stat. 1666, provided that: "This Act [see Tables for classification] may be cited as the 'Help America Vote Act of 2002'."

Pub. L. 107–155, §1(a), Mar. 27, 2002, 116 Stat. 81, provided that: "This Act [see Tables for classification] may be cited as the 'Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002'."

Short Title of 1993 Act

Pub. L. 103–31, §1, May 20, 1993, 107 Stat. 77, provided that: "This Act [see Tables for classification] may be cited as the 'National Voter Registration Act of 1993'."

Short Title of 1992 Act

Pub. L. 102–344, §1, Aug. 26, 1992, 106 Stat. 921, provided that: "This Act [see Tables for classification] may be cited as the 'Voting Rights Language Assistance Act of 1992'."

Short Title of 1986 Act

Pub. L. 99–410, §1, Aug. 28, 1986, 100 Stat. 924, provided that: "This Act [see Tables for classification] may be cited as the 'Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act'."

Short Title of 1984 Act

Pub. L. 98–435, §1, Sept. 28, 1984, 98 Stat. 1678, provided that: "This Act [see Tables for classification] may be cited as the 'Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act'."

Short Title of 1982 Act

Pub. L. 97–205, §1, June 29, 1982, 96 Stat. 131, provided: "That this Act [see Tables for classification] may be cited as the 'Voting Rights Act Amendments of 1982'."

Short Title of 1980 Act

Pub. L. 96–187, Jan. 8, 1980, 93 Stat. 1339, provided in part: "That this Act [see Tables for classification] may be cited as the 'Federal Election Campaign Act Amendments of 1979'."

Short Title of 1976 Act

Pub. L. 94–283, §1, May 11, 1976, 90 Stat. 475, provided that: "This Act [see Tables for classification] may be cited as the 'Federal Election Campaign Act Amendments of 1976'."

Short Title of 1975 Act

Pub. L. 94–203, §1, Jan. 2, 1976, 89 Stat. 1142, which provided that Pub. L. 94–203 (see Tables for classification) was to be cited as "Overseas Citizens Voting Rights Act of 1975", was repealed by Pub. L. 99–410, title II, §203, Aug. 28, 1986, 100 Stat. 930.

Short Title of 1974 Act

Pub. L. 93–443, Oct. 15, 1974, 88 Stat. 1263, provided in part: "That this Act [see Tables for classification] may be cited as the 'Federal Election Campaign Act Amendments of 1974'."

Short Title of 1972 Act

Pub. L. 92–225, Feb. 7, 1972, 86 Stat. 3, provided in part: "That this Act [see Tables for classification] may be cited as the 'Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971'."

Short Title of 1970 Act

Pub. L. 91–285, §1, June 22, 1970, 84 Stat. 314, provided: "That this Act [see Tables for classification] may be cited as the 'Voting Rights Act Amendments of 1970'."

Short Title of 1965 Act

Pub. L. 89–110, §1, Aug. 6, 1965, 79 Stat. 437, provided that: "This Act [see Tables for classification] shall be known as the 'Voting Rights Act of 1965'."

Short Title of 1960 Act

Pub. L. 86–449, §1, May 6, 1960, 74 Stat. 86, provided that: "This Act [see Tables for classification] may be cited as the 'Civil Rights Act of 1960'."

Short Title of 1957 Act

Pub. L. 85–315, pt. V, §161, Sept. 9, 1957, 71 Stat. 638, provided that: "This Act [see Tables for classification] may be cited as the 'Civil Rights Act of 1957'."

Short Title of 1955 Act

Act Aug. 9, 1955, ch. 656, §1, 69 Stat. 584, which provided that such Act (see Tables for classification) was to be cited as "The Federal Voting Assistance Act of 1955", was repealed by Pub. L. 99–410, title II, §203, Aug. 28, 1986, 100 Stat. 930.

Separability

Pub. L. 86–449, title VII, §701, May 6, 1960, 74 Stat. 92, provided that: "If any provisions of this Act [see Short Title of 1960 Act note above] is held invalid, the remainder of this Act shall not be affected thereby."

Voter Registration Drives

Pub. L. 98–473, title I, §101(j), Oct. 12, 1984, 98 Stat. 1963, provided that: "It is the sense of the Congress that—

"(1) voter registration drives should be encouraged by governmental entities at all levels; and

"(2) voter registration drives conducted by State governments on a nonpartisan basis do not violate the provisions of the Intergovernmental Personnel Act (42 U.S.C. 4728, 4763)."

§10102. Interference with freedom of elections

No officer of the Army, Navy, or Air Force of the United States shall prescribe or fix, or attempt to prescribe or fix, by proclamation, order, or otherwise, the qualifications of voters in any State, or in any manner interfere with the freedom of any election in any State, or with the exercise of the free right of suffrage in any State.

(R.S. §2003.)

Codification

Section was formerly classified to section 1972 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare, prior to editorial reclassification and renumbering as this section, and to section 32 of Title 8, Aliens and Nationality.

R.S. §2003 derived from act Feb. 25, 1865, ch. 52, §1, 13 Stat. 437.

Air Force inserted to conform to act July 26, 1947, ch. 343, title II, §207(a), (f), 61 Stat. 502, which established a separate Department of the Air Force, and Secretary of Defense Transfer Order No. 40 [App. A(10)], July 22, 1949, which transferred certain functions to the Air Force. Section 207(a), (f) of act July 26, 1947, was repealed by act Aug. 10, 1956, ch. 1041, §53, 70A Stat. 641. Act Aug. 10, 1956, ch. 1041, 70A Stat. 1, enacted "Title 10, Armed Forces", which in sections 8010 to 8013 continued Department of the Air Force under administrative supervision of Secretary of the Air Force.

CHAPTER 103—ENFORCEMENT OF VOTING RIGHTS

Sec.
10301.
Denial or abridgement of right to vote on account of race or color through voting qualifications or prerequisites; establishment of violation.
10302.
Proceeding to enforce the right to vote.
10303.
Suspension of the use of tests or devices in determining eligibility to vote.
10304.
Alteration of voting qualifications; procedure and appeal; purpose or effect of diminishing the ability of citizens to elect their preferred candidates.
10305.
Use of observers.
10306.
Poll taxes.
10307.
Prohibited acts.
10308.
Civil and criminal sanctions.
10309.
Termination of assignment of observers.
10310.
Enforcement proceedings.
10311.
Impairment of voting rights of persons holding current registration.
10312.
Authorization of appropriations.
10313.
Separability.
10314.
Construction.

        

§10301. Denial or abridgement of right to vote on account of race or color through voting qualifications or prerequisites; establishment of violation

(a) No voting qualification or prerequisite to voting or standard, practice, or procedure shall be imposed or applied by any State or political subdivision in a manner which results in a denial or abridgement of the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color, or in contravention of the guarantees set forth in section 10303(f)(2) of this title, as provided in subsection (b).

(b) A violation of subsection (a) is established if, based on the totality of circumstances, it is shown that the political processes leading to nomination or election in the State or political subdivision are not equally open to participation by members of a class of citizens protected by subsection (a) in that its members have less opportunity than other members of the electorate to participate in the political process and to elect representatives of their choice. The extent to which members of a protected class have been elected to office in the State or political subdivision is one circumstance which may be considered: Provided, That nothing in this section establishes a right to have members of a protected class elected in numbers equal to their proportion in the population.

(Pub. L. 89–110, title I, §2, Aug. 6, 1965, 79 Stat. 437; renumbered title I, Pub. L. 91–285, §2, June 22, 1970, 84 Stat. 314; amended Pub. L. 94–73, title II, §206, Aug. 6, 1975, 89 Stat. 402; Pub. L. 97–205, §3, June 29, 1982, 96 Stat. 134.)

Codification

Section was formerly classified to section 1973 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare, prior to editorial reclassification and renumbering as this section. Some section numbers referenced in amendment notes below reflect the classification of such sections prior to their editorial reclassification to this title.

Amendments

1982Pub. L. 97–205 redesignated existing provisions as subsec. (a), struck out the comma after "voting", substituted "in a manner which results in a denial or abridgement of" for "to deny or abridge", inserted ", as provided in subsection (b)" after "in contravention of the guarantees set forth in section 1973b(f)(2) of this title", and added subsec. (b).

1975Pub. L. 94–73 substituted "race or color, or in contravention of the guarantees set forth in section 1973b(f)(2) of this title" for "race or color".

Effective Date of 1982 Amendment

Pub. L. 97–205, §6, June 29, 1982, 96 Stat. 135, provided that: "Except as otherwise provided in this Act [see Tables for classification], the amendments made by this Act shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act [June 29, 1982]."

Congressional Purpose and Findings

Pub. L. 109–246, §2, July 27, 2006, 120 Stat. 577, provided that:

"(a) Purpose.—The purpose of this Act [see Tables for classification] is to ensure that the right of all citizens to vote, including the right to register to vote and cast meaningful votes, is preserved and protected as guaranteed by the Constitution.

"(b) Findings.—The Congress finds the following:

"(1) Significant progress has been made in eliminating first generation barriers experienced by minority voters, including increased numbers of registered minority voters, minority voter turnout, and minority representation in Congress, State legislatures, and local elected offices. This progress is the direct result of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 [this chapter and chapters 105 and 107 of this title].

"(2) However, vestiges of discrimination in voting continue to exist as demonstrated by second generation barriers constructed to prevent minority voters from fully participating in the electoral process.

"(3) The continued evidence of racially polarized voting in each of the jurisdictions covered by the expiring provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 demonstrates that racial and language minorities remain politically vulnerable, warranting the continued protection of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

"(4) Evidence of continued discrimination includes—

"(A) the hundreds of objections interposed, requests for more information submitted followed by voting changes withdrawn from consideration by jurisdictions covered by the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and section 5 [52 U.S.C. 10304] enforcement actions undertaken by the Department of Justice in covered jurisdictions since 1982 that prevented election practices, such as annexation, at-large voting, and the use of multi-member districts, from being enacted to dilute minority voting strength;

"(B) the number of requests for declaratory judgments denied by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia;

"(C) the continued filing of section 2 [52 U.S.C. 10301] cases that originated in covered jurisdictions; and

"(D) the litigation pursued by the Department of Justice since 1982 to enforce sections 4(e), 4(f)(4), and 203 of such Act [52 U.S.C. 10303(e), (f)(4), 10503] to ensure that all language minority citizens have full access to the political process.

"(5) The evidence clearly shows the continued need for Federal oversight in jurisdictions covered by the Voting Rights Act of 1965 since 1982, as demonstrated in the counties certified by the Attorney General for Federal examiner and observer coverage and the tens of thousands of Federal observers that have been dispatched to observe elections in covered jurisdictions.

"(6) The effectiveness of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 has been significantly weakened by the United States Supreme Court decisions in Reno v. Bossier Parish II and Georgia v. Ashcroft, which have misconstrued Congress' original intent in enacting the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and narrowed the protections afforded by section 5 of such Act [52 U.S.C. 10304].

"(7) Despite the progress made by minorities under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the evidence before Congress reveals that 40 years has not been a sufficient amount of time to eliminate the vestiges of discrimination following nearly 100 years of disregard for the dictates of the 15th amendment and to ensure that the right of all citizens to vote is protected as guaranteed by the Constitution.

"(8) Present day discrimination experienced by racial and language minority voters is contained in evidence, including the objections interposed by the Department of Justice in covered jurisdictions; the section 2 [52 U.S.C. 10301] litigation filed to prevent dilutive techniques from adversely affecting minority voters; the enforcement actions filed to protect language minorities; and the tens of thousands of Federal observers dispatched to monitor polls in jurisdictions covered by the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

"(9) The record compiled by Congress demonstrates that, without the continuation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 protections, racial and language minority citizens will be deprived of the opportunity to exercise their right to vote, or will have their votes diluted, undermining the significant gains made by minorities in the last 40 years."

Separability

Pub. L. 94–73, title II, §208, Aug. 6, 1975, 89 Stat. 402, provided that: "If any amendments made by this Act [see Tables for classification] or the application of any provision thereof to any person or circumstance is judicially determined to be invalid, the remainder of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 [this chapter and chapters 105 and 107 of this title], or the application of such provision to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected by such determination."

§10302. Proceeding to enforce the right to vote

(a) Authorization by court for appointment of Federal observers

Whenever the Attorney General or an aggrieved person institutes a proceeding under any statute to enforce the voting guarantees of the fourteenth or fifteenth amendment in any State or political subdivision the court shall authorize the appointment of Federal observers by the Director of the Office of Personnel Management in accordance with section 1973d 1 of title 42 to serve for such period of time and for such political subdivisions as the court shall determine is appropriate to enforce the voting guarantees of the fourteenth or fifteenth amendment (1) as part of any interlocutory order if the court determines that the appointment of such observers is necessary to enforce such voting guarantees or (2) as part of any final judgment if the court finds that violations of the fourteenth or fifteenth amendment justifying equitable relief have occurred in such State or subdivision: Provided, That the court need not authorize the appointment of observers if any incidents of denial or abridgement of the right to vote on account of race or color, or in contravention of the voting guarantees set forth in section 10303(f)(2) of this title (1) have been few in number and have been promptly and effectively corrected by State or local action, (2) the continuing effect of such incidents has been eliminated, and (3) there is no reasonable probability of their recurrence in the future.

(b) Suspension of use of tests and devices which deny or abridge the right to vote

If in a proceeding instituted by the Attorney General or an aggrieved person under any statute to enforce the voting guarantees of the fourteenth or fifteenth amendment in any State or political subdivision the court finds that a test or device has been used for the purpose or with the effect of denying or abridging the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color, or in contravention of the voting guarantees set forth in section 10303(f)(2) of this title, it shall suspend the use of tests and devices in such State or political subdivisions as the court shall determine is appropriate and for such period as it deems necessary.

(c) Retention of jurisdiction to prevent commencement of new devices to deny or abridge the right to vote

If in any proceeding instituted by the Attorney General or an aggrieved person under any statute to enforce the voting guarantees of the fourteenth or fifteenth amendment in any State or political subdivision the court finds that violations of the fourteenth or fifteenth amendment justifying equitable relief have occurred within the territory of such State or political subdivision, the court, in addition to such relief as it may grant, shall retain jurisdiction for such period as it may deem appropriate and during such period no voting qualification or prerequisite to voting or standard, practice, or procedure with respect to voting different from that in force or effect at the time the proceeding was commenced shall be enforced unless and until the court finds that such qualification, prerequisite, standard, practice, or procedure does not have the purpose and will not have the effect of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race or color, or in contravention of the voting guarantees set forth in section 10303(f)(2) of this title: Provided, That such qualification, prerequisite, standard, practice, or procedure may be enforced if the qualification, prerequisite, standard, practice, or procedure has been submitted by the chief legal officer or other appropriate official of such State or subdivision to the Attorney General and the Attorney General has not interposed an objection within sixty days after such submission, except that neither the court's finding nor the Attorney General's failure to object shall bar a subsequent action to enjoin enforcement of such qualification, prerequisite, standard, practice, or procedure.

(Pub. L. 89–110, title I, §3, Aug. 6, 1965, 79 Stat. 437; renumbered title I, Pub. L. 91–285, §2, June 22, 1970, 84 Stat. 314; amended Pub. L. 94–73, title II, §§205, 206, title IV, §§401, 410, Aug. 6, 1975, 89 Stat. 402, 404, 406; 1978 Reorg. Plan No. 2, §102, eff. Jan. 1, 1979, 43 F.R. 36037, 92 Stat. 3783; Pub. L. 109–246, §3(d)(1), July 27, 2006, 120 Stat. 580.)

References in Text

Section 1973d of title 42, referred to in subsec. (a), was repealed by Pub. L. 109–246, §3(c), July 27, 2006, 120 Stat. 580.

Codification

Section was formerly classified to section 1973a of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare, prior to editorial reclassification and renumbering as this section. Some section numbers referenced in amendment notes below reflect the classification of such sections prior to their editorial reclassification to this title.

Amendments

2006—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 109–246 substituted "observers" for "examiners" wherever appearing.

1975—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 94–73 inserted reference to fourteenth amendment in three places, and substituted "voting guarantees" for "guarantees" in three places, "Attorney General or an aggrieved person" for "Attorney General", and "on account of race or color or in contravention of the voting guarantees set forth in section 1973b(f)(2) of this title" for "on account of race or color".

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 94–73 substituted "Attorney General or an aggrieved person under any statute to enforce the voting guarantees of the fourteenth or fifteenth amendment" for "Attorney General under any statute to enforce the guarantees of the fifteenth amendment", and "on account of race or color, or in contravention of the voting guarantees set forth in section 1973b(f)(2) of this title" for "on account of race or color".

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 94–73 substituted "Attorney General or an aggrieved person under any statute to enforce the voting guarantees of the fourteenth or fifteenth amendment in any State or political subdivision the court finds that violations of the fourteenth or fifteenth amendment" for "Attorney General under any statute to enforce the guarantees of the fifteenth amendment in any State or political subdivision the court finds that violations of the fifteenth amendment" and "on account of race or color, or in contravention of the voting guarantees set forth in section 1973b(f)(2) of this title" for "on account of race or color".

Transfer of Functions

"Director of the Office of Personnel Management" substituted for "United States Civil Service Commission" in subsec. (a) pursuant to Reorg. Plan No. 2 of 1978, §102, 43 F.R. 36037, 92 Stat. 3783, set out under section 1101 of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees, which transferred all functions vested by statute in United States Civil Service Commission to Director of Office of Personnel Management (except as otherwise specified), effective Jan. 1, 1979, as provided by section 1–102 of Ex. Ord. No. 12107, Dec. 28, 1978, 44 F.R. 1055, set out under section 1101 of Title 5.

1 See References in Text note below.

§10303. Suspension of the use of tests or devices in determining eligibility to vote

(a) Action by State or political subdivision for declaratory judgment of no denial or abridgement; three-judge district court; appeal to Supreme Court; retention of jurisdiction by three-judge court

(1) To assure that the right of citizens of the United States to vote is not denied or abridged on account of race or color, no citizen shall be denied the right to vote in any Federal, State, or local election because of his failure to comply with any test or device in any State with respect to which the determinations have been made under the first two sentences of subsection (b) or in any political subdivision of such State (as such subdivision existed on the date such determinations were made with respect to such State), though such determinations were not made with respect to such subdivision as a separate unit, or in any political subdivision with respect to which such determinations have been made as a separate unit, unless the United States District Court for the District of Columbia issues a declaratory judgment under this section. No citizen shall be denied the right to vote in any Federal, State, or local election because of his failure to comply with any test or device in any State with respect to which the determinations have been made under the third sentence of subsection (b) of this section or in any political subdivision of such State (as such subdivision existed on the date such determinations were made with respect to such State), though such determinations were not made with respect to such subdivision as a separate unit, or in any political subdivision with respect to which such determinations have been made as a separate unit, unless the United States District Court for the District of Columbia issues a declaratory judgment under this section. A declaratory judgment under this section shall issue only if such court determines that during the ten years preceding the filing of the action, and during the pendency of such action—

(A) no such test or device has been used within such State or political subdivision for the purpose or with the effect of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race or color or (in the case of a State or subdivision seeking a declaratory judgment under the second sentence of this subsection) in contravention of the guarantees of subsection (f)(2);

(B) no final judgment of any court of the United States, other than the denial of declaratory judgment under this section, has determined that denials or abridgements of the right to vote on account of race or color have occurred anywhere in the territory of such State or political subdivision or (in the case of a State or subdivision seeking a declaratory judgment under the second sentence of this subsection) that denials or abridgements of the right to vote in contravention of the guarantees of subsection (f)(2) have occurred anywhere in the territory of such State or subdivision and no consent decree, settlement, or agreement has been entered into resulting in any abandonment of a voting practice challenged on such grounds; and no declaratory judgment under this section shall be entered during the pendency of an action commenced before the filing of an action under this section and alleging such denials or abridgements of the right to vote;

(C) no Federal examiners or observers under chapters 103 to 107 of this title have been assigned to such State or political subdivision;

(D) such State or political subdivision and all governmental units within its territory have complied with section 10304 of this title, including compliance with the requirement that no change covered by section 10304 of this title has been enforced without preclearance under section 10304 of this title, and have repealed all changes covered by section 10304 of this title to which the Attorney General has successfully objected or as to which the United States District Court for the District of Columbia has denied a declaratory judgment;

(E) the Attorney General has not interposed any objection (that has not been overturned by a final judgment of a court) and no declaratory judgment has been denied under section 10304 of this title, with respect to any submission by or on behalf of the plaintiff or any governmental unit within its territory under section 10304 of this title, and no such submissions or declaratory judgment actions are pending; and

(F) such State or political subdivision and all governmental units within its territory—

(i) have eliminated voting procedures and methods of election which inhibit or dilute equal access to the electoral process;

(ii) have engaged in constructive efforts to eliminate intimidation and harassment of persons exercising rights protected under chapters 103 to 107 of this title; and

(iii) have engaged in other constructive efforts, such as expanded opportunity for convenient registration and voting for every person of voting age and the appointment of minority persons as election officials throughout the jurisdiction and at all stages of the election and registration process.


(2) To assist the court in determining whether to issue a declaratory judgment under this subsection, the plaintiff shall present evidence of minority participation, including evidence of the levels of minority group registration and voting, changes in such levels over time, and disparities between minority-group and non-minority-group participation.

(3) No declaratory judgment shall issue under this subsection with respect to such State or political subdivision if such plaintiff and governmental units within its territory have, during the period beginning ten years before the date the judgment is issued, engaged in violations of any provision of the Constitution or laws of the United States or any State or political subdivision with respect to discrimination in voting on account of race or color or (in the case of a State or subdivision seeking a declaratory judgment under the second sentence of this subsection) in contravention of the guarantees of subsection (f)(2) unless the plaintiff establishes that any such violations were trivial, were promptly corrected, and were not repeated.

(4) The State or political subdivision bringing such action shall publicize the intended commencement and any proposed settlement of such action in the media serving such State or political subdivision and in appropriate United States post offices. Any aggrieved party may as of right intervene at any stage in such action.

(5) An action pursuant to this subsection shall be heard and determined by a court of three judges in accordance with the provisions of section 2284 of title 28 and any appeal shall lie to the Supreme Court. The court shall retain jurisdiction of any action pursuant to this subsection for ten years after judgment and shall reopen the action upon motion of the Attorney General or any aggrieved person alleging that conduct has occurred which, had that conduct occurred during the ten-year periods referred to in this subsection, would have precluded the issuance of a declaratory judgment under this subsection. The court, upon such reopening, shall vacate the declaratory judgment issued under this section if, after the issuance of such declaratory judgment, a final judgment against the State or subdivision with respect to which such declaratory judgment was issued, or against any governmental unit within that State or subdivision, determines that denials or abridgements of the right to vote on account of race or color have occurred anywhere in the territory of such State or political subdivision or (in the case of a State or subdivision which sought a declaratory judgment under the second sentence of this subsection) that denials or abridgements of the right to vote in contravention of the guarantees of subsection (f)(2) have occurred anywhere in the territory of such State or subdivision, or if, after the issuance of such declaratory judgment, a consent decree, settlement, or agreement has been entered into resulting in any abandonment of a voting practice challenged on such grounds.

(6) If, after two years from the date of the filing of a declaratory judgment under this subsection, no date has been set for a hearing in such action, and that delay has not been the result of an avoidable delay on the part of counsel for any party, the chief judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia may request the Judicial Council for the Circuit of the District of Columbia to provide the necessary judicial resources to expedite any action filed under this section. If such resources are unavailable within the circuit, the chief judge shall file a certificate of necessity in accordance with section 292(d) of title 28.

(7) The Congress shall reconsider the provisions of this section at the end of the fifteen-year period following the effective date of the amendments made by the Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, Coretta Scott King, César E. Chávez, Barbara C. Jordan, William C. Velásquez, and Dr. Hector P. Garcia Voting Rights Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006.

(8) The provisions of this section shall expire at the end of the twenty-five-year period following the effective date of the amendments made by the Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, Coretta Scott King, César E. Chávez, Barbara C. Jordan, William C. Velásquez, and Dr. Hector P. Garcia Voting Rights Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006.

(9) Nothing in this section shall prohibit the Attorney General from consenting to an entry of judgment if based upon a showing of objective and compelling evidence by the plaintiff, and upon investigation, he is satisfied that the State or political subdivision has complied with the requirements of subsection (a)(1). Any aggrieved party may as of right intervene at any stage in such action.

(b) Required factual determinations necessary to allow suspension of compliance with tests and devices; publication in Federal Register

The provisions of subsection (a) shall apply in any State or in any political subdivision of a State which (1) the Attorney General determines maintained on November 1, 1964, any test or device, and with respect to which (2) the Director of the Census determines that less than 50 per centum of the persons of voting age residing therein were registered on November 1, 1964, or that less than 50 per centum of such persons voted in the presidential election of November 1964. On and after August 6, 1970, in addition to any State or political subdivision of a State determined to be subject to subsection (a) pursuant to the previous sentence, the provisions of subsection (a) shall apply in any State or any political subdivision of a State which (i) the Attorney General determines maintained on November 1, 1968, any test or device, and with respect to which (ii) the Director of the Census determines that less than 50 per centum of the persons of voting age residing therein were registered on November 1, 1968, or that less than 50 per centum of such persons voted in the presidential election of November 1968. On and after August 6, 1975, in addition to any State or political subdivision of a State determined to be subject to subsection (a) pursuant to the previous two sentences, the provisions of subsection (a) shall apply in any State or any political subdivision of a State which (i) the Attorney General determines maintained on November 1, 1972, any test or device, and with respect to which (ii) the Director of the Census determines that less than 50 per centum of the citizens of voting age were registered on November 1, 1972, or that less than 50 per centum of such persons voted in the Presidential election of November 1972.

A determination or certification of the Attorney General or of the Director of the Census under this section or under section 10305 or 10309 of this title shall not be reviewable in any court and shall be effective upon publication in the Federal Register.

(c) "Test or device" defined

The phrase "test or device" shall mean any requirement that a person as a prerequisite for voting or registration for voting (1) demonstrate the ability to read, write, understand, or interpret any matter, (2) demonstrate any educational achievement or his knowledge of any particular subject, (3) possess good moral character, or (4) prove his qualifications by the voucher of registered voters or members of any other class.

(d) Required frequency, continuation and probable recurrence of incidents of denial or abridgement to constitute forbidden use of tests or devices

For purposes of this section no State or political subdivision shall be determined to have engaged in the use of tests or devices for the purpose or with the effect of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race or color, or in contravention of the guarantees set forth in subsection (f)(2) if (1) incidents of such use have been few in number and have been promptly and effectively corrected by State or local action, (2) the continuing effect of such incidents has been eliminated, and (3) there is no reasonable probability of their recurrence in the future.

(e) Completion of requisite grade level of education in American-flag schools in which the predominant classroom language was other than English

(1) Congress hereby declares that to secure the rights under the fourteenth amendment of persons educated in American-flag schools in which the predominant classroom language was other than English, it is necessary to prohibit the States from conditioning the right to vote of such persons on ability to read, write, understand, or interpret any matter in the English language.

(2) No person who demonstrates that he has successfully completed the sixth primary grade in a public school in, or a private school accredited by, any State or territory, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in which the predominant classroom language was other than English, shall be denied the right to vote in any Federal, State, or local election because of his inability to read, write, understand, or interpret any matter in the English language, except that in States in which State law provides that a different level of education is presumptive of literacy, he shall demonstrate that he has successfully completed an equivalent level of education in a public school in, or a private school accredited by, any State or territory, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in which the predominant classroom language was other than English.

(f) Congressional findings of voting discrimination against language minorities; prohibition of English-only elections; other remedial measures

(1) The Congress finds that voting discrimination against citizens of language minorities is pervasive and national in scope. Such minority citizens are from environments in which the dominant language is other than English. In addition they have been denied equal educational opportunities by State and local governments, resulting in severe disabilities and continuing illiteracy in the English language. The Congress further finds that, where State and local officials conduct elections only in English, language minority citizens are excluded from participating in the electoral process. In many areas of the country, this exclusion is aggravated by acts of physical, economic, and political intimidation. The Congress declares that, in order to enforce the guarantees of the fourteenth and fifteenth amendments to the United States Constitution, it is necessary to eliminate such discrimination by prohibiting English-only elections, and by prescribing other remedial devices.

(2) No voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure shall be imposed or applied by any State or political subdivision to deny or abridge the right of any citizen of the United States to vote because he is a member of a language minority group.

(3) In addition to the meaning given the term under subsection (c), the term "test or device" shall also mean any practice or requirement by which any State or political subdivision provided any registration or voting notices, forms, instructions, assistance, or other materials or information relating to the electoral process, including ballots, only in the English language, where the Director of the Census determines that more than five per centum of the citizens of voting age residing in such State or political subdivision are members of a single language minority. With respect to subsection (b), the term "test or device", as defined in this subsection, shall be employed only in making the determinations under the third sentence of that subsection.

(4) Whenever any State or political subdivision subject to the prohibitions of the second sentence of subsection (a) provides any registration or voting notices, forms, instructions, assistance, or other materials or information relating to the electoral process, including ballots, it shall provide them in the language of the applicable language minority group as well as in the English language: Provided, That where the language of the applicable minority group is oral or unwritten or in the case of Alaskan Natives and American Indians, if the predominate language is historically unwritten, the State or political subdivision is only required to furnish oral instructions, assistance, or other information relating to registration and voting.

(Pub. L. 89–110, title I, §4, Aug. 6, 1965, 79 Stat. 438; renumbered title I and amended Pub. L. 91–285, §§2–4, June 22, 1970, 84 Stat. 314, 315; Pub. L. 94–73, title I, §101, title II, §§201–203, 206, Aug. 6, 1975, 89 Stat. 400–402; Pub. L. 97–205, §2(a)–(c), June 29, 1982, 96 Stat. 131–133; Pub. L. 109–246, §§3(d)(2), (e)(1), 4, July 27, 2006, 120 Stat. 580; Pub. L. 110–258, §2, July 1, 2008, 122 Stat. 2428.)

References in Text

The effective date of the amendments made by the Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, Coretta Scott King, César E. Chávez, Barbara C. Jordan, William C. Velásquez, and Dr. Hector P. Garcia Voting Rights Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006, referred to in subsec. (a)(7), (8), is the date of enactment of Pub. L. 109–246, which was approved July 27, 2006. See section 10314 of this title.

Codification

Section was formerly classified to section 1973b of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare, prior to editorial reclassification and renumbering as this section. Some section numbers referenced in amendment notes below reflect the classification of such sections prior to their editorial reclassification to this title.

Constitutionality

For information regarding constitutionality of certain provisions of section 4 of Pub. L. 89–110, see Congressional Research Service, The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation, Appendix 1, Acts of Congress Held Unconstitutional in Whole or in Part by the Supreme Court of the United States.

Amendments

2008—Subsec. (a)(7), (8). Pub. L. 110–258 substituted "Coretta Scott King, César E. Chávez, Barbara C. Jordan, William C. Velásquez, and Dr. Hector P. Garcia" for "and Coretta Scott King".

2006—Subsec. (a)(1)(C). Pub. L. 109–246, §3(d)(2), inserted "or observers" after "examiners".

Subsec. (a)(7), (8). Pub. L. 109–246, §4, substituted "Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, and Coretta Scott King Voting Rights Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006" for "Voting Rights Act Amendments of 1982".

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 109–246, §3(e)(1), substituted "section 1973f" for "section 1973d".

1982—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 97–205, §2(a), (b), substituted "nineteen years" for "seventeen years" in three places, effective June 29, 1982, and, effective on and after Aug. 5, 1985, completely revised subsec. (a). Prior to such revision, subsec. (a) consisted of 4 undesignated paragraphs reading as follows:

"To assure that the right of citizens of the United States to vote is not denied or abridged on account of race or color, no citizen shall be denied the right to vote in any Federal, State, or local election because of his failure to comply with any test or device in any State with respect to which the determinations have been made under the first two sentences of subsection (b) of this section or in any political subdivision with respect to which such determinations have been made as a separate unit, unless the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in an action for a declaratory judgment brought by such State or subdivision against the United States has determined that no such test or device has been used during the seventeen years preceding the filing of the action for the purpose or with the effect of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race or color: Provided, That no such declaratory judgment shall issue with respect to any plaintiff for a period of seventeen years after the entry of a final judgment of any court of the United States, other than the denial of a declaratory judgment under this section, whether entered prior to or after August 6, 1965, determining that denials or abridgments of the right to vote on account of race or color through the use of such tests or devices have occurred any where in the territory of such plaintiff. No citizen shall be denied the right to vote in any Federal, State, or local election because of his failure to comply with any test or device in any State with respect to which the determinations have been made under the third sentence of subsection (b) of this section or in any political subdivision with respect to which such determinations have been made as a separate unit, unless the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in an action for a declaratory judgment brought by such State or subdivision against the United States has determined that no such test or device has been used during the ten years preceding the filing of the action for the purpose or with the effect of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race or color, or in contravention of the guarantees set forth in subsection (f)(2) of this section: Provided, That no such declaratory judgment shall issue with respect to any plaintiff for a period of ten years after the entry of a final judgment of any court of the United States, other than the denial of a declaratory judgment under this section, whether entered prior to or after the enactment of this paragraph, determining that denials or abridgments of the right to vote on account of race or color, or in contravention of the guarantees set forth in subsection (f)(2) of this section through the use of tests or devices have occurred anywhere in the territory of such plaintiff.

"An action pursuant to this subsection shall be heard and determined by a court of three judges in accordance with the provisions of section 2284 of title 28 and any appeal shall lie to the Supreme Court. The court shall retain jurisdiction of any action pursuant to this subsection for five years after judgment and shall reopen the action upon motion of the Attorney General alleging that a test or device has been used for the purpose or with the effect of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race or color, or in contravention of the guarantees set forth in subsection (f)(2) of this section.

"If the Attorney General determines that he has no reason to believe that any such test or device has been used during the seventeen years preceding the filing of an action under the first sentence of this subsection for the purpose or with the effect of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race or color, he shall consent to the entry of such judgment.

"If the Attorney General determines that he has no reason to believe that any such test or device has been used during the ten years preceding the filing of an action under the second sentence of this subsection for the purpose or with the effect of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race or color, or in contravention of the guarantees set forth in subsection (f)(2) of this section, he shall consent to the entry of such judgment."

Subsec. (f)(4). Pub. L. 97–205, §2(c), inserted "or in the case of Alaskan Natives and American Indians, if the predominate language is historically unwritten".

1975—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 94–73, §§101, 201, 206, in first par., substituted "seventeen years" for "ten years" in two places, and "determinations have been made under the first two sentences of subsection (b)" for "determinations have been made under subsection (b)", inserted provisions that no citizen shall be denied the right to vote in any Federal, State, or local election because of his failure to comply with any test or device in any state with respect to which the determinations have been made under the third sentence of subsection (b) of this section or in any political subdivision with respect to which such determinations have been made as a separate unit, unless the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in an action for a declaratory judgment brought by such state or subdivision against the United States has determined that no such test or device has been used during the ten years preceding the filing of the action for the purpose or with the effect of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race or color, or in contravention of the guarantees set forth in subsection (f)(2) of this section with the proviso that no such declaratory judgment shall issue with respect to any plaintiff for a period of ten years after the entry of final judgment of any court of the United States, other than the denial of a declaratory judgment under this section, whether entered prior to or after the enactment of this paragraph, determining that denials or abridgments of the right to vote on account of race or color, or in contravention of the guarantees set forth in subsection (f)(2) of this section through the use of tests or devices have occurred anywhere in the territory of such plaintiff, in second par., substituted "on account of race or color, or in contravention of the guarantees set forth in subsection (f)(2)" for "on account of race or color", in third par., substituted "seventeen years preceding the filing of an action under the first sentence of this subsection" for "ten years preceding the filing of the action", and added fourth par.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 94–73, §202, inserted provisions that on and after August 6, 1975, in addition to any State or political subdivision of a State determined to be subject to subsection (a) pursuant to the previous two sentences, the provisions of subsection (a) shall apply in any State or any political subdivision of a State which the Attorney General determines maintained on November 1, 1972, any test or device, and with respect to which the Director of the Census determines that less than 50 per centum of the citizens of voting age were registered on November 1, 1972, or that less than 50 per centum of such persons voted in the Presidential election of November, 1972.

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 94–73, §206, substituted "on account of race or color or in contravention of the guarantees set forth in section 1973b(f)(2) of this title" for "on account of race or color".

Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 94–73, §203, added subsec. (f).

1970—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 91–285, §3, substituted "ten" for "five" years in first and third pars.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 91–285, §4, inserted provision respecting the making of factual determinations concerning maintenance of any test or device on Nov. 1, 1968, registration of less than 50 per centum of persons of voting age on Nov. 1, 1968, and voting by less than 50 per centum of such persons in the presidential election of November 1968.

Effective Date of 1982 Amendment

Amendment by section 2(a), (c) of Pub. L. 97–205 effective June 29, 1982, see section 6 of Pub. L. 97–205, set out as a note under section 10301 of this title.

Pub. L. 97–205, §2(b), June 29, 1982, 96 Stat. 131, provided that the amendment made by that section is effective on and after Aug. 5, 1984.

§10304. Alteration of voting qualifications; procedure and appeal; purpose or effect of diminishing the ability of citizens to elect their preferred candidates

(a) Whenever a State or political subdivision with respect to which the prohibitions set forth in section 10303(a) of this title based upon determinations made under the first sentence of section 10303(b) of this title are in effect shall enact or seek to administer any voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure with respect to voting different from that in force or effect on November 1, 1964, or whenever a State or political subdivision with respect to which the prohibitions set forth in section 10303(a) of this title based upon determinations made under the second sentence of section 10303(b) of this title are in effect shall enact or seek to administer any voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure with respect to voting different from that in force or effect on November 1, 1968, or whenever a State or political subdivision with respect to which the prohibitions set forth in section 10303(a) of this title based upon determinations made under the third sentence of section 10303(b) of this title are in effect shall enact or seek to administer any voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure with respect to voting different from that in force or effect on November 1, 1972, such State or subdivision may institute an action in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia for a declaratory judgment that such qualification, prerequisite, standard, practice, or procedure neither has the purpose nor will have the effect of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race or color, or in contravention of the guarantees set forth in section 10303(f)(2) of this title, and unless and until the court enters such judgment no person shall be denied the right to vote for failure to comply with such qualification, prerequisite, standard, practice, or procedure: Provided, That such qualification, prerequisite, standard, practice, or procedure may be enforced without such proceeding if the qualification, prerequisite, standard, practice, or procedure has been submitted by the chief legal officer or other appropriate official of such State or subdivision to the Attorney General and the Attorney General has not interposed an objection within sixty days after such submission, or upon good cause shown, to facilitate an expedited approval within sixty days after such submission, the Attorney General has affirmatively indicated that such objection will not be made. Neither an affirmative indication by the Attorney General that no objection will be made, nor the Attorney General's failure to object, nor a declaratory judgment entered under this section shall bar a subsequent action to enjoin enforcement of such qualification, prerequisite, standard, practice, or procedure. In the event the Attorney General affirmatively indicates that no objection will be made within the sixty-day period following receipt of a submission, the Attorney General may reserve the right to reexamine the submission if additional information comes to his attention during the remainder of the sixty-day period which would otherwise require objection in accordance with this section. Any action under this section shall be heard and determined by a court of three judges in accordance with the provisions of section 2284 of title 28 and any appeal shall lie to the Supreme Court.

(b) Any voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure with respect to voting that has the purpose of or will have the effect of diminishing the ability of any citizens of the United States on account of race or color, or in contravention of the guarantees set forth in section 10303(f)(2) of this title, to elect their preferred candidates of choice denies or abridges the right to vote within the meaning of subsection (a) of this section.

(c) The term "purpose" in subsections (a) and (b) of this section shall include any discriminatory purpose.

(d) The purpose of subsection (b) of this section is to protect the ability of such citizens to elect their preferred candidates of choice.

(Pub. L. 89–110, title I, §5, Aug. 6, 1965, 79 Stat. 439; renumbered title I and amended Pub. L. 91–285, §§2, 5, June 22, 1970, 84 Stat. 314, 315; Pub. L. 94–73, title II, §§204, 206, title IV, §405, Aug. 6, 1975, 89 Stat. 402, 404; Pub. L. 109–246, §5, July 27, 2006, 120 Stat. 580.)

Codification

Section was formerly classified to section 1973c of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare, prior to editorial reclassification and renumbering as this section. Some section numbers referenced in amendment notes below reflect the classification of such sections prior to their editorial reclassification to this title.

Amendments

2006Pub. L. 109–246 designated existing provisions as subsec. (a), substituted "neither has the purpose nor will have the effect" for "does not have the purpose and will not have the effect", and added subsecs. (b) to (d).

1975Pub. L. 94–73 inserted "or whenever a State or political subdivision with respect to which the prohibitions set forth in section 1973b(a) of this title based upon determinations made under third sentence of section 1973b(b) of this title are in effect shall enact or seek to administer any voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure with respect to voting different from that in force or effect on November 1, 1972," after 1968, substituted "or upon good cause shown, to facilitate an expedited approval within sixty days after such submission, the Attorney General has affirmatively indicated that such objection will not be made. Neither an affirmative indication by the Attorney General that no objection will be made, nor the Attorney General's failure to object," for "except that neither the Attorney General's failure to object", and "on account of race or color, or in contravention of the guarantees set forth in section 1973b(f)(2) of this title" for "on account of race or color", and inserted provisions that in the event the Attorney General affirmatively indicates that no objection will be made within the sixty-day period following receipt of a submission, the Attorney General may reserve the right to examine the submission if additional information comes to his attention during the remainder of the sixty-day period which would otherwise require objection in accordance with this section.

1970Pub. L. 91–285 inserted "based upon determinations made under the first sentence of section 1973b(b) of this title" after "section 1973b(a) of this title" and "or whenever a State or political subdivision with respect to which the prohibitions set forth in section 1973b(a) of this title based upon determinations made under the second sentence of section 1973b(b) of this title are in effect shall enact or seek to administer any voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure with respect to voting different from that in force or effect on November 1, 1968," after "1964,".

§10305. Use of observers

(a) Assignment

Whenever—

(1) a court has authorized the appointment of observers under section 10302(a) of this title for a political subdivision; or

(2) the Attorney General certifies with respect to any political subdivision named in, or included within the scope of, determinations made under section 10303(b) of this title, unless a declaratory judgment has been rendered under section 10303(a) of this title, that—

(A) the Attorney General has received written meritorious complaints from residents, elected officials, or civic participation organizations that efforts to deny or abridge the right to vote under the color of law on account of race or color, or in contravention of the guarantees set forth in section 10303(f)(2) of this title are likely to occur; or

(B) in the Attorney General's judgment (considering, among other factors, whether the ratio of nonwhite persons to white persons registered to vote within such subdivision appears to the Attorney General to be reasonably attributable to violations of the 14th or 15th amendment or whether substantial evidence exists that bona fide efforts are being made within such subdivision to comply with the 14th or 15th amendment), the assignment of observers is otherwise necessary to enforce the guarantees of the 14th or 15th amendment;


the Director of the Office of Personnel Management shall assign as many observers for such subdivision as the Director may deem appropriate.

(b) Status

Except as provided in subsection (c), such observers shall be assigned, compensated, and separated without regard to the provisions of any statute administered by the Director of the Office of Personnel Management, and their service under chapters 103 to 107 of this title shall not be considered employment for the purposes of any statute administered by the Director of the Office of Personnel Management, except the provisions of section 7324 of title 5 prohibiting partisan political activity.

(c) Designation

The Director of the Office of Personnel Management is authorized to, after consulting the head of the appropriate department or agency, designate suitable persons in the official service of the United States, with their consent, to serve in these positions.

(d) Authority

Observers shall be authorized to—

(1) enter and attend at any place for holding an election in such subdivision for the purpose of observing whether persons who are entitled to vote are being permitted to vote; and

(2) enter and attend at any place for tabulating the votes cast at any election held in such subdivision for the purpose of observing whether votes cast by persons entitled to vote are being properly tabulated.

(e) Investigation and report

Observers shall investigate and report to the Attorney General, and if the appointment of observers has been authorized pursuant to section 10302(a) of this title, to the court.

(Pub. L. 89–110, title I, §8, Aug. 6, 1965, 79 Stat. 441; renumbered title I, Pub. L. 91–285, §2, June 22, 1970, 84 Stat. 314; amended Pub. L. 109–246, §3(a), July 27, 2006, 120 Stat. 578.)

Codification

Section was formerly classified to section 1973f of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare, prior to editorial reclassification and renumbering as this section. Some section numbers referenced in amendment notes below reflect the classification of such sections prior to their editorial reclassification to this title.

Amendments

2006Pub. L. 109–246 amended section generally. Prior to amendment, text of section read as follows: "Whenever an examiner is serving under subchapters I–A to I–C of this chapter in any political subdivision, the Director of the Office of Personnel Management may assign, at the request of the Attorney General, one or more persons, who may be officers of the United States, (1) to enter and attend at any place for holding an election in such subdivision for the purpose of observing whether persons who are entitled to vote are being permitted to vote, and (2) to enter and attend at any place for tabulating the votes cast at any election held in such subdivision for the purpose of observing whether votes cast by persons entitled to vote are being properly tabulated. Such persons so assigned shall report to an examiner appointed for such political subdivision, to the Attorney General, and if the appointment of examiners has been authorized pursuant to section 1973a(a) of this title, to the court."

§10306. Poll taxes

(a) Congressional finding and declaration of policy against enforced payment of poll taxes as a device to impair voting rights

The Congress finds that the requirement of the payment of a poll tax as a precondition to voting (i) precludes persons of limited means from voting or imposes unreasonable financial hardship upon such persons as a precondition to their exercise of the franchise, (ii) does not bear a reasonable relationship to any legitimate State interest in the conduct of elections, and (iii) in some areas has the purpose or effect of denying persons the right to vote because of race or color. Upon the basis of these findings, Congress declares that the constitutional right of citizens to vote is denied or abridged in some areas by the requirement of the payment of a poll tax as a precondition to voting.

(b) Authority of Attorney General to institute actions for relief against enforcement of poll tax requirement

In the exercise of the powers of Congress under section 5 of the fourteenth amendment, section 2 of the fifteenth amendment and section 2 of the twenty-fourth amendment, the Attorney General is authorized and directed to institute forthwith in the name of the United States such actions, including actions against States or political subdivisions, for declaratory judgment or injunctive relief against the enforcement of any requirement of the payment of a poll tax as a precondition to voting, or substitute therefor enacted after November 1, 1964, as will be necessary to implement the declaration of subsection (a) and the purposes of this section.

(c) Jurisdiction of three-judge district courts; appeal to Supreme Court

The district courts of the United States shall have jurisdiction of such actions which shall be heard and determined by a court of three judges in accordance with the provisions of section 2284 of title 28 and any appeal shall lie to the Supreme Court. It shall be the duty of the judges designated to hear the case to assign the case for hearing at the earliest practicable date, to participate in the hearing and determination thereof, and to cause the case to be in every way expedited.

(Pub. L. 89–110, title I, §10, Aug. 6, 1965, 79 Stat. 442; renumbered title I, Pub. L. 91–285, §2, June 22, 1970, 84 Stat. 314; amended Pub. L. 94–73, title IV, §408, Aug. 6, 1975, 89 Stat. 405.)

Codification

Section was formerly classified to section 1973h of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare, prior to editorial reclassification and renumbering as this section.

Amendments

1975—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 94–73, §408(2), (3), inserted reference to section 2 of twenty-fourth amendment.

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 94–73, §408(1), struck out subsec. (d) which related to post-payment of poll taxes in event of a judicial declaration of constitutionality.

§10307. Prohibited acts

(a) Failure or refusal to permit casting or tabulation of vote

No person acting under color of law shall fail or refuse to permit any person to vote who is entitled to vote under any provision of chapters 103 to 107 of this title or is otherwise qualified to vote, or willfully fail or refuse to tabulate, count, and report such person's vote.

(b) Intimidation, threats, or coercion

No person, whether acting under color of law or otherwise, shall intimidate, threaten, or coerce, or attempt to intimidate, threaten, or coerce any person for voting or attempting to vote, or intimidate, threaten, or coerce, or attempt to intimidate, threaten, or coerce any person for urging or aiding any person to vote or attempt to vote, or intimidate, threaten, or coerce any person for exercising any powers or duties under section 10302(a), 10305, 10306, or 10308(e) of this title or section 1973d or 1973g of title 42.1

(c) False information in registering or voting; penalties

Whoever knowingly or willfully gives false information as to his name, address or period of residence in the voting district for the purpose of establishing his eligibility to register or vote, or conspires with another individual for the purpose of encouraging his false registration to vote or illegal voting, or pays or offers to pay or accepts payment either for registration to vote or for voting shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than five years, or both: Provided, however, That this provision shall be applicable only to general, special, or primary elections held solely or in part for the purpose of selecting or electing any candidate for the office of President, Vice President, presidential elector, Member of the United States Senate, Member of the United States House of Representatives, Delegate from the District of Columbia, Guam, or the Virgin Islands, or Resident Commissioner of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

(d) Falsification or concealment of material facts or giving of false statements in matters within jurisdiction of examiners or hearing officers; penalties

Whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of an examiner or hearing officer knowingly and willfully falsifies or conceals a material fact, or makes any false, fictitious, or fraudulent statements or representations, or makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry, shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

(e) Voting more than once

(1) Whoever votes more than once in an election referred to in paragraph (2) shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

(2) The prohibition of this subsection applies with respect to any general, special, or primary election held solely or in part for the purpose of selecting or electing any candidate for the office of President, Vice President, presidential elector, Member of the United States Senate, Member of the United States House of Representatives, Delegate from the District of Columbia, Guam, or the Virgin Islands, or Resident Commissioner of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

(3) As used in this subsection, the term "votes more than once" does not include the casting of an additional ballot if all prior ballots of that voter were invalidated, nor does it include the voting in two jurisdictions under section 10502 of this title, to the extent two ballots are not cast for an election to the same candidacy or office.

(Pub. L. 89–110, title I, §11, Aug. 6, 1965, 79 Stat. 443; renumbered title I, Pub. L. 91–285, §2, June 22, 1970, 84 Stat. 314; amended Pub. L. 91–405, title II, §204(e), Sept. 22, 1970, 84 Stat. 853; Pub. L. 94–73, title IV, §§404, 409, Aug. 6, 1975, 89 Stat. 404, 405.)

References in Text

Sections 1973d and 1973g of title 42, referred to in subsec. (b), were repealed by Pub. L. 109–246, §3(c), July 27, 2006, 120 Stat. 580.

Codification

Section was formerly classified to section 1973i of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare, prior to editorial reclassification and renumbering as this section.

Amendments

1975—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 94–73, §404, inserted reference to Guam and Virgin Islands.

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 94–73, §409, added subsec. (e).

1970—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 91–405 substituted reference to Delegate from District of Columbia for Delegates or Commissioners from territories or possessions.

Effective Date of 1970 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 91–405 effective Sept. 22, 1970, see section 206(b) of Pub. L. 91–405, set out as an Effective Date note under section 25a of Title 2, The Congress.

1 See References in Text note below.

§10308. Civil and criminal sanctions

(a) Depriving or attempting to deprive persons of secured rights

Whoever shall deprive or attempt to deprive any person of any right secured by section 10301, 10302, 10303, 10304, or 10306 of this title or shall violate section 10307(a) of this title, shall be fined not more than $5,000, or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

(b) Destroying, defacing, mutilating, or altering ballots or official voting records

Whoever, within a year following an election in a political subdivision in which an observer has been assigned (1) destroys, defaces, mutilates, or otherwise alters the marking of a paper ballot which has been cast in such election, or (2) alters any official record of voting in such election tabulated from a voting machine or otherwise, shall be fined not more than $5,000, or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

(c) Conspiring to violate or interfere with secured rights

Whoever conspires to violate the provisions of subsection (a) or (b) of this section, or interferes with any right secured by section 10301, 10302, 10303, 10304, 10306, or 10307(a) of this title shall be fined not more than $5,000, or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

(d) Civil action by Attorney General for preventive relief; injunctive and other relief

Whenever any person has engaged or there are reasonable grounds to believe that any person is about to engage in any act or practice prohibited by section 10301, 10302, 10303, 10304, 10306, or 10307 of this title, section 1973e of title 42,1 or subsection (b) of this section, the Attorney General may institute for the United States, or in the name of the United States, an action for preventive relief, including an application for a temporary or permanent injunction, restraining order, or other order, and including an order directed to the State and State or local election officials to require them (1) to permit persons listed under chapters 103 to 107 of this title to vote and (2) to count such votes.

(e) Proceeding by Attorney General to enforce the counting of ballots of registered and eligible persons who are prevented from voting

Whenever in any political subdivision in which there are observers appointed pursuant to chapters 103 to 107 of this title any persons allege to such an observer within forty-eight hours after the closing of the polls that notwithstanding (1) their listing under chapters 103 to 107 of this title or registration by an appropriate election official and (2) their eligibility to vote, they have not been permitted to vote in such election, the observer shall forthwith notify the Attorney General if such allegations in his opinion appear to be well founded. Upon receipt of such notification, the Attorney General may forthwith file with the district court an application for an order providing for the marking, casting, and counting of the ballots of such persons and requiring the inclusion of their votes in the total vote before the results of such election shall be deemed final and any force or effect given thereto. The district court shall hear and determine such matters immediately after the filing of such application. The remedy provided in this subsection shall not preclude any remedy available under State or Federal law.

(f) Jurisdiction of district courts; exhaustion of administrative or other remedies unnecessary

The district courts of the United States shall have jurisdiction of proceedings instituted pursuant to this section and shall exercise the same without regard to whether a person asserting rights under the provisions of chapters 103 to 107 of this title shall have exhausted any administrative or other remedies that may be provided by law.

(Pub. L. 89–110, title I, §12, Aug. 6, 1965, 79 Stat. 443; Pub. L. 90–284, title I, §103(c), Apr. 11, 1968, 82 Stat. 75; renumbered title I, Pub. L. 91–285, §2, June 22, 1970, 84 Stat. 314; Pub. L. 109–246, §3(d)(3), (4), (e)(2), July 27, 2006, 120 Stat. 580.)

References in Text

Section 1973e of title 42, referred to in subsec. (d), was repealed by Pub. L. 109–246, §3(c), July 27, 2006, 120 Stat. 580.

Codification

Section was formerly classified to section 1973j of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare, prior to editorial reclassification and renumbering as this section. Some section numbers referenced in amendment notes below reflect the classification of such sections prior to their editorial reclassification to this title.

Amendments

2006—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 109–246, §3(e)(2), struck out "1973e," after "1973c,".

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 109–246, §3(d)(3), substituted "an observer has been assigned" for "an examiner has been appointed".

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 109–246, §3(e)(2), struck out "1973e," after "1973c,".

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 109–246, §3(d)(4), substituted "observers" for "examiners" and substituted "observer" for "examiner" in two places.

1968—Subsecs. (a), (c). Pub. L. 90–284 struck out reference to violation of section 1973i(b) of this title.

1 See References in Text note below.

§10309. Termination of assignment of observers

(a) In general

The assignment of observers shall terminate in any political subdivision of any State—

(1) with respect to observers appointed pursuant to section 10305 of this title or with respect to examiners certified under chapters 103 to 107 of this title before July 27, 2006, whenever the Attorney General notifies the Director of the Office of Personnel Management, or whenever the District Court for the District of Columbia determines in an action for declaratory judgment brought by any political subdivision described in subsection (b), that there is no longer reasonable cause to believe that persons will be deprived of or denied the right to vote on account of race or color, or in contravention of the guarantees set forth in section 10303(f)(2) of this title in such subdivision; and

(2) with respect to observers appointed pursuant to section 10302(a) of this title, upon order of the authorizing court.

(b) Political subdivision with majority of nonwhite persons registered

A political subdivision referred to in subsection (a)(1) is one with respect to which the Director of the Census has determined that more than 50 per centum of the nonwhite persons of voting age residing therein are registered to vote.

(c) Petition for termination

A political subdivision may petition the Attorney General for a termination under subsection (a)(1).

(Pub. L. 89–110, title I, §13, Aug. 6, 1965, 79 Stat. 444; renumbered title I, Pub. L. 91–285, §2, June 22, 1970, 84 Stat. 314; amended Pub. L. 94–73, title II, §206, Aug. 6, 1975, 89 Stat. 402; Pub. L. 109–246, §3(b), July 27, 2006, 120 Stat. 579; Pub. L. 110–258, §2, July 1, 2008, 122 Stat. 2428.)

Codification

Section was formerly classified to section 1973k of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare, prior to editorial reclassification and renumbering as this section. Some section numbers referenced in amendment notes below reflect the classification of such sections prior to their editorial reclassification to this title.

Amendments

2008—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 110–258 made technical amendment to reference in original act which appears in text as reference to July 27, 2006.

2006Pub. L. 109–246 amended section generally. Prior to amendment, section related to termination of listing procedures, basis for termination, and survey or census by the Director of the Census.

1975Pub. L. 94–73 substituted "on account of race or color, or in contravention of the guarantees set forth in section 1973b(f)(2) of this title" for "on account of race or color".

§10310. Enforcement proceedings

(a) Criminal contempt

All cases of criminal contempt arising under the provisions of chapters 103 to 107 of this title shall be governed by section 1995 of title 42.

(b) Jurisdiction of courts for declaratory judgment, restraining orders, or temporary or permanent injunction

No court other than the District Court for the District of Columbia shall have jurisdiction to issue any declaratory judgment pursuant to section 10303 or 10304 of this title or any restraining order or temporary or permanent injunction against the execution or enforcement of any provision of chapters 103 to 107 of this title or any action of any Federal officer or employee pursuant hereto.

(c) Definitions

(1) The terms "vote" or "voting" shall include all action necessary to make a vote effective in any primary, special, or general election, including, but not limited to, registration, listing pursuant to this chapter, or other action required by law prerequisite to voting, casting a ballot, and having such ballot counted properly and included in the appropriate totals of votes cast with respect to candidates for public or party office and propositions for which votes are received in an election.

(2) The term "political subdivision" shall mean any county or parish, except that where registration for voting is not conducted under the supervision of a county or parish, the term shall include any other subdivision of a State which conducts registration for voting.

(3) The term "language minorities" or "language minority group" means persons who are American Indian, Asian American, Alaskan Natives or of Spanish heritage.

(d) Subpenas

In any action for a declaratory judgment brought pursuant to section 10303 or 10304 of this title, subpenas for witnesses who are required to attend the District Court for the District of Columbia may be served in any judicial district of the United States: Provided, That no writ of subpena shall issue for witnesses without the District of Columbia at a greater distance than one hundred miles from the place of holding court without the permission of the District Court for the District of Columbia being first had upon proper application and cause shown.

(e) Attorney's fees

In any action or proceeding to enforce the voting guarantees of the fourteenth or fifteenth amendment, the court, in its discretion, may allow the prevailing party, other than the United States, a reasonable attorney's fee, reasonable expert fees, and other reasonable litigation expenses as part of the costs.

(Pub. L. 89–110, title I, §14, Aug. 6, 1965, 79 Stat. 445; renumbered title I, Pub. L. 91–285, §2, June 22, 1970, 84 Stat. 314; amended Pub. L. 94–73, title II, §207, title IV, §402, Aug. 6, 1975, 89 Stat. 402, 404; Pub. L. 109–246, §§3(e)(3), 6, July 27, 2006, 120 Stat. 580, 581.)

Codification

Section was formerly classified to section 1973l of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare, prior to editorial reclassification and renumbering as this section.

Amendments

2006—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 109–246, §3(e)(3), struck out "or a court of appeals in any proceeding under section 1973g of this title" after "District of Columbia".

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 109–246, §6, inserted ", reasonable expert fees, and other reasonable litigation expenses" after "reasonable attorney's fee".

1975—Subsec. (c)(3). Pub. L. 94–73, §207, added par. (3).

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 94–73, §402, added subsec. (e).

§10311. Impairment of voting rights of persons holding current registration

Nothing in chapters 103 to 107 of this title shall be construed to deny, impair, or otherwise adversely affect the right to vote of any person registered to vote under the law of any State or political subdivision.

(Pub. L. 89–110, title I, §17, Aug. 6, 1965, 79 Stat. 446; renumbered title I, Pub. L. 91–285, §2, June 22, 1970, 84 Stat. 314.)

Codification

Section was formerly classified to section 1973n of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare, prior to editorial reclassification and renumbering as this section.

§10312. Authorization of appropriations

There are hereby authorized to be appropriated such sums as are necessary to carry out the provisions of chapters 103 to 107 of this title.

(Pub. L. 89–110, title I, §18, Aug. 6, 1965, 79 Stat. 446; renumbered title I, Pub. L. 91–285, §2, June 22, 1970, 84 Stat. 314.)

Codification

Section was formerly classified to section 1973o of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare, prior to editorial reclassification and renumbering as this section.

§10313. Separability

If any provision of chapters 103 to 107 of this title or the application thereof to any person or circumstances is held invalid, the remainder of chapters 103 to 107 of this title and the application of the provision to other persons not similarly situated or to other circumstances shall not be affected thereby.

(Pub. L. 89–110, title I, §19, Aug. 6, 1965, 79 Stat. 446; renumbered title I, Pub. L. 91–285, §2, June 22, 1970, 84 Stat. 314.)

Codification

Section was formerly classified to section 1973p of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare, prior to editorial reclassification and renumbering as this section.

§10314. Construction

A reference in this chapter to the effective date of the amendments made by, or the date of the enactment of, the Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, Coretta Scott King, César E. Chávez, Barbara C. Jordan, William C. Velásquez, and Dr. Hector P. Garcia Voting Rights Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006 shall be considered to refer to, respectively, the effective date of the amendments made by, or the date of the enactment of, the Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, and Coretta Scott King Voting Rights Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006.

(Pub. L. 89–110, title I, §20, as added Pub. L. 110–258, §3, July 1, 2008, 122 Stat. 2428.)

References in Text

The effective date of the amendments made by, or the date of the enactment of, the Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, and Coretta Scott King Voting Rights Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006, referred to in text, is the date of enactment of Pub. L. 109–246, which was approved July 27, 2006.

Codification

Section was formerly classified to section 1973q of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare, prior to editorial reclassification and renumbering as this section.

CHAPTER 105—SUPPLEMENTAL PROVISIONS

Sec.
10501.
Application of prohibition to other States; "test or device" defined.
10502.
Residence requirements for voting.
10503.
Bilingual election requirements.
10504.
Judicial relief; civil actions by the Attorney General; three-judge district court; appeal to Supreme Court.
10505.
Penalty.
10506.
Separability.
10507.
Survey to compile registration and voting statistics.
10508.
Voting assistance for blind, disabled or illiterate persons.

        

§10501. Application of prohibition to other States; "test or device" defined

(a) No citizen shall be denied, because of his failure to comply with any test or device, the right to vote in any Federal, State, or local election conducted in any State or political subdivision of a State.

(b) As used in this section, the term "test or device" means any requirement that a person as a prerequisite for voting or registration for voting (1) demonstrate the ability to read, write, understand, or interpret any matter, (2) demonstrate any educational achievement or his knowledge of any particular subject, (3) possess good moral character, or (4) prove his qualifications by the voucher of registered voters or members of any other class.

(Pub. L. 89–110, title II, §201, as added Pub. L. 91–285, §6, June 22, 1970, 84 Stat. 315; amended Pub. L. 94–73, title I, §102, Aug. 6, 1975, 89 Stat. 400.)

Codification

Section was formerly classified to section 1973aa of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare, prior to editorial reclassification and renumbering as this section. Some section numbers referenced in amendment notes below reflect the classification of such sections prior to their editorial reclassification to this title.

Amendments

1975—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 94–73 struck out "Prior to August 6, 1975," and "as to which the provisions of section 1973b(a) of this title are not in effect by reason of determinations made under section 1973b(b) of this title".

§10502. Residence requirements for voting

(a) Congressional findings

The Congress hereby finds that the imposition and application of the durational residency requirement as a precondition to voting for the offices of President and Vice President, and the lack of sufficient opportunities for absentee registration and absentee balloting in presidential elections—

(1) denies or abridges the inherent constitutional right of citizens to vote for their President and Vice President;

(2) denies or abridges the inherent constitutional right of citizens to enjoy their free movement across State lines;

(3) denies or abridges the privileges and immunities guaranteed to the citizens of each State under article IV, section 2, clause 1, of the Constitution;

(4) in some instances has the impermissible purpose or effect of denying citizens the right to vote for such officers because of the way they may vote;

(5) has the effect of denying to citizens the equality of civil rights, and due process and equal protection of the laws that are guaranteed to them under the fourteenth amendment; and

(6) does not bear a reasonable relationship to any compelling State interest in the conduct of presidential elections.

(b) Congressional declaration: durational residency requirement, abolishment; absentee registration and balloting standards, establishment

Upon the basis of these findings, Congress declares that in order to secure and protect the above-stated rights of citizens under the Constitution, to enable citizens to better obtain the enjoyment of such rights, and to enforce the guarantees of the fourteenth amendment, it is necessary (1) to completely abolish the durational residency requirement as a precondition to voting for President and Vice President, and (2) to establish nationwide, uniform standards relative to absentee registration and absentee balloting in presidential elections.

(c) Prohibition of denial of right to vote because of durational residency requirement or absentee balloting

No citizen of the United States who is otherwise qualified to vote in any election for President and Vice President shall be denied the right to vote for electors for President and Vice President, or for President and Vice President, in such election because of the failure of such citizen to comply with any durational residency requirement of such State or political subdivision; nor shall any citizen of the United States be denied the right to vote for electors for President and Vice President, or for President and Vice President, in such election because of the failure of such citizen to be physically present in such State or political subdivision at the time of such election, if such citizen shall have complied with the requirements prescribed by the law of such State or political subdivision providing for the casting of absentee ballots in such election.

(d) Registration: time for application; absentee balloting: time of application and return of ballots

For the purposes of this section, each State shall provide by law for the registration or other means of qualification of all duly qualified residents of such State who apply, not later than thirty days immediately prior to any presidential election, for registration or qualification to vote for the choice of electors for President and Vice President or for President and Vice President in such election; and each State shall provide by law for the casting of absentee ballots for the choice of electors for President and Vice President, or for President and Vice President, by all duly qualified residents of such State who may be absent from their election district or unit in such State on the day such election is held and who have applied therefor not later than seven days immediately prior to such election and have returned such ballots to the appropriate election official of such State not later than the time of closing of the polls in such State on the day of such election.

(e) Change of residence; voting in person or by absentee ballot in State of prior residence

If any citizen of the United States who is otherwise qualified to vote in any State or political subdivision in any election for President and Vice President has begun residence in such State or political subdivision after the thirtieth day next preceding such election and, for that reason, does not satisfy the registration requirements of such State or political subdivision he shall be allowed to vote for the choice of electors for President and Vice President, or for President and Vice President, in such election, (1) in person in the State or political subdivision in which he resided immediately prior to his removal if he had satisfied, as of the date of his change of residence, the requirements to vote in that State or political subdivision, or (2) by absentee ballot in the State or political subdivision in which he resided immediately prior to his removal if he satisfies, but for his nonresident status and the reason for his absence, the requirements for absentee voting in that State or political subdivision.

(f) Absentee registration requirement

No citizen of the United States who is otherwise qualified to vote by absentee ballot in any State or political subdivision in any election for President and Vice President shall be denied the right to vote for the choice of electors for President and Vice President, or for President and Vice President, in such election because of any requirement of registration that does not include a provision for absentee registration.

(g) State or local adoption of less restrictive voting practices

Nothing in this section shall prevent any State or political subdivision from adopting less restrictive voting practices than those that are prescribed herein.

(h) "State" defined

The term "State" as used in this section includes each of the several States and the District of Columbia.

(i) False registration, and other fraudulent acts and conspiracies: application of penalty for false information in registering or voting

The provisions of section 10307(c) of this title shall apply to false registration, and other fraudulent acts and conspiracies, committed under this section.

(Pub. L. 89–110, title II, §202, as added Pub. L. 91–285, §6, June 22, 1970, 84 Stat. 316.)

Codification

Section was formerly classified to section 1973aa–1 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare, prior to editorial reclassification and renumbering as this section.

§10503. Bilingual election requirements

(a) Congressional findings and declaration of policy

The Congress finds that, through the use of various practices and procedures, citizens of language minorities have been effectively excluded from participation in the electoral process. Among other factors, the denial of the right to vote of such minority group citizens is ordinarily directly related to the unequal educational opportunities afforded them resulting in high illiteracy and low voting participation. The Congress declares that, in order to enforce the guarantees of the fourteenth and fifteenth amendments to the United States Constitution, it is necessary to eliminate such discrimination by prohibiting these practices, and by prescribing other remedial devices.

(b) Bilingual voting materials requirement

(1) Generally

Before August 6, 2032, no covered State or political subdivision shall provide voting materials only in the English language.

(2) Covered States and political subdivisions

(A) Generally

A State or political subdivision is a covered State or political subdivision for the purposes of this subsection if the Director of the Census determines, based on the 2010 American Community Survey census data and subsequent American Community Survey data in 5-year increments, or comparable census data, that—

(i)(I) more than 5 percent of the citizens of voting age of such State or political subdivision are members of a single language minority and are limited-English proficient;

(II) more than 10,000 of the citizens of voting age of such political subdivision are members of a single language minority and are limited-English proficient; or

(III) in the case of a political subdivision that contains all or any part of an Indian reservation, more than 5 percent of the American Indian or Alaska Native citizens of voting age within the Indian reservation are members of a single language minority and are limited-English proficient; and

(ii) the illiteracy rate of the citizens in the language minority as a group is higher than the national illiteracy rate.

(B) Exception

The prohibitions of this subsection do not apply in any political subdivision that has less than 5 percent voting age limited-English proficient citizens of each language minority which comprises over 5 percent of the statewide limited-English proficient population of voting age citizens, unless the political subdivision is a covered political subdivision independently from its State.

(3) Definitions

As used in this section—

(A) the term "voting materials" means registration or voting notices, forms, instructions, assistance, or other materials or information relating to the electoral process, including ballots;

(B) the term "limited-English proficient" means unable to speak or understand English adequately enough to participate in the electoral process;

(C) the term "Indian reservation" means any area that is an American Indian or Alaska Native area, as defined by the Census Bureau for the purposes of the 1990 decennial census;

(D) the term "citizens" means citizens of the United States; and

(E) the term "illiteracy" means the failure to complete the 5th primary grade.

(4) Special rule

The determinations of the Director of the Census under this subsection shall be effective upon publication in the Federal Register and shall not be subject to review in any court.

(c) Requirement of voting notices, forms, instructions, assistance, or other materials and ballots in minority language

Whenever any State or political subdivision subject to the prohibition of subsection (b) of this section provides any registration or voting notices, forms, instructions, assistance, or other materials or information relating to the electoral process, including ballots, it shall provide them in the language of the applicable minority group as well as in the English language: Provided, That where the language of the applicable minority group is oral or unwritten or in the case of Alaskan natives and American Indians, if the predominant language is historically unwritten, the State or political subdivision is only required to furnish oral instructions, assistance, or other information relating to registration and voting.

(d) Action for declaratory judgment permitting English-only materials

Any State or political subdivision subject to the prohibition of subsection (b) of this section, which seeks to provide English-only registration or voting materials or information, including ballots, may file an action against the United States in the United States District Court for a declaratory judgment permitting such provision. The court shall grant the requested relief if it determines that the illiteracy rate of the applicable language minority group within the State or political subdivision is equal to or less than the national illiteracy rate.

(e) Definitions

For purposes of this section, the term "language minorities" or "language minority group" means persons who are American Indian, Asian American, Alaskan Natives, or of Spanish heritage.

(Pub. L. 89–110, title II, §203, as added Pub. L. 94–73, title III, §301, Aug. 6, 1975, 89 Stat. 402; amended Pub. L. 97–205, §§2(d), 4, June 29, 1982, 96 Stat. 134; Pub. L. 102–344, §2, Aug. 26, 1992, 106 Stat. 921; Pub. L. 109–246, §§7, 8, July 27, 2006, 120 Stat. 581.)

Codification

Section was formerly classified to section 1973aa–1a of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare, prior to editorial reclassification and renumbering as this section.

Amendments

2006—Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 109–246, §7, substituted "2032" for "2007".

Subsec. (b)(2)(A). Pub. L. 109–246, §8, substituted "the 2010 American Community Survey census data and subsequent American Community Survey data in 5-year increments, or comparable census data" for "census data" in introductory provisions.

1992—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 102–344 amended subsec. (b) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (b) read as follows: "Prior to August 6, 1992, no State or political subdivision shall provide registration or voting notices, forms, instructions, assistance, or other materials or information relating to the electoral process, including ballots, only in the English language if the Director of the Census determines (i) that more than 5 percent of the citizens of voting age of such State or political subdivision are members of a single language minority and (ii) that the illiteracy rate of such persons as a group is higher than the national illiteracy rate: Provided, That the prohibitions of this subsection shall not apply in any political subdivision which has less than five percent voting age citizens of each language minority which comprises over five percent of the statewide population of voting age citizens. For purposes of this subsection, illiteracy means the failure to complete the fifth primary grade. The determinations of the Director of the Census under this subsection shall be effective upon publication in the Federal Register and shall not be subject to review in any court."

1982—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 97–205, §4, substituted "Prior to August 6, 1992" for "Prior to August 6, 1985".

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 97–205, §2(d), inserted "and American Indians" after "Alaskan natives".

Effective Date of 1982 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 97–205 effective June 29, 1982, see section 6 of Pub. L. 97–205, set out as a note under section 10301 of this title.

Extension to August 6, 1992, of Prohibition on Use of Voting Instructions, Assistance, or Other Materials or Information in English Only; Limitations Based on 1980 Census and Subsequent Census Data

Pub. L. 97–205, §4, June 29, 1982, 96 Stat. 134, provided in part that: "[T]he extension made by this section [amending subsec. (b) of this section] shall apply only to determinations made by the Director of the Census under clause (i) of section 203(b) [subsec. (b)(i) of this section] for members of a single language minority who do not speak or understand English adequately enough to participate in the electoral process when such a determination can be made by the Director of the Census based on the 1980 and subsequent census data."

§10504. Judicial relief; civil actions by the Attorney General; three-judge district court; appeal to Supreme Court

Whenever the Attorney General has reason to believe that a State or political subdivision (a) has enacted or is seeking to administer any test or device as a prerequisite to voting in violation of the prohibition contained in section 10501 of this title, or (b) undertakes to deny the right to vote in any election in violation of section 10502 or 10503 of this title, he may institute for the United States, or in the name of the United States, an action in a district court of the United States, in accordance with sections 1391 through 1393 1 of title 28, for a restraining order, a preliminary or permanent injunction, or such other order as he deems appropriate. An action under this subsection shall be heard and determined by a court of three judges in accordance with the provisions of section 2284 of title 28 and any appeal shall be to the Supreme Court.

(Pub. L. 89–110, title II, §204, formerly §203, as added Pub. L. 91–285, §6, June 22, 1970, 84 Stat. 317; renumbered §204 and amended Pub. L. 94–73, title III, §§302, 303, title IV, §406, Aug. 6, 1975, 89 Stat. 403, 405.)

References in Text

Section 1393 of title 28, referred to in text, was repealed by Pub. L. 100–702, title X, §1001(a), Nov. 19, 1988, 102 Stat. 4664.

Codification

Section was formerly classified to section 1973aa–2 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare, prior to editorial reclassification and renumbering as this section. Some section numbers referenced in amendment notes below reflect the classification of such sections prior to their editorial reclassification to this title.

Amendments

1975Pub. L. 94–73 inserted reference to section 1973aa–1a of this title and substituted reference to section 2284 of title 28 for reference to section 2282 of title 28.

1 See References in Text note below.

§10505. Penalty

Whoever shall deprive or attempt to deprive any person of any right secured by section 10501, 10502, or 10503 of this title shall be fined not more than $5,000, or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

(Pub. L. 89–110, title II, §205, formerly §204, as added Pub. L. 91–285, §6, June 22, 1970, 84 Stat. 317; renumbered §205 and amended Pub. L. 94–73, title III, §§302, 304, Aug. 6, 1975, 89 Stat. 403.)

Codification

Section was formerly classified to section 1973aa–3 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare, prior to editorial reclassification and renumbering as this section. Some section numbers referenced in amendment notes below reflect the classification of such sections prior to their editorial reclassification to this title.

Amendments

1975Pub. L. 94–73 inserted reference to section 1973aa–1a of this title.

§10506. Separability

If any provision of chapters 103 to 107 of this title or the application of any provision thereof to any person or circumstance is judicially determined to be invalid, the remainder of chapters 103 to 107 of this title or the application of such provision to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected by such determination.

(Pub. L. 89–110, title II, §206, formerly §205, as added Pub. L. 91–285, §6, June 22, 1970, 84 Stat. 318; renumbered §206, Pub. L. 94–73, title III, §302, Aug. 6, 1975, 89 Stat. 403.)

Codification

Section was formerly classified to section 1973aa–4 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare, prior to editorial reclassification and renumbering as this section.

§10507. Survey to compile registration and voting statistics

(a) Elections to House of Representatives and elections designated by United States Commission on Civil Rights

Congress hereby directs the Director of the Census forthwith to conduct a survey to compile registration and voting statistics: (i) in every State or political subdivision with respect to which the prohibitions of section 10303(a) of this title are in effect, for every statewide general election for Members of the United States House of Representatives after January 1, 1974; and (ii) in every State or political subdivision for any election designated by the United States Commission on Civil Rights. Such surveys shall only include a count of citizens of voting age, race or color, and national origin, and a determination of the extent to which such persons are registered to vote and have voted in the elections surveyed.

(b) Prohibition against compulsion to disclose personal data; advice of rights

In any survey under subsection (a) of this section no person shall be compelled to disclose his race, color, national origin, political party affiliation, or how he voted (or the reasons therefor), nor shall any penalty be imposed for his failure or refusal to make such disclosures. Every person interrogated orally, by written survey or questionnaire, or by any other means with respect to such information shall be fully advised of his right to fail or refuse to furnish such information.

(c) Report to Congress

The Director of the Census shall, at the earliest practicable time, report to the Congress the results of every survey conducted pursuant to the provisions of subsection (a) of this section.

(d) Confidentiality of information; penalties

The provisions of section 9 and chapter 7 of title 13 shall apply to any survey, collection, or compilation of registration and voting statistics carried out under subsection (a) of this section.

(Pub. L. 89–110, title II, §207, as added Pub. L. 94–73, title IV, §403, Aug. 6, 1975, 89 Stat. 404.)

Codification

Section was formerly classified to section 1973aa–5 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare, prior to editorial reclassification and renumbering as this section.

§10508. Voting assistance for blind, disabled or illiterate persons

Any voter who requires assistance to vote by reason of blindness, disability, or inability to read or write may be given assistance by a person of the voter's choice, other than the voter's employer or agent of that employer or officer or agent of the voter's union.

(Pub. L. 89–110, title II, §208, as added Pub. L. 97–205, §5, June 29, 1982, 96 Stat. 135.)

Codification

Section was formerly classified to section 1973aa–6 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare, prior to editorial reclassification and renumbering as this section.

Effective Date

Pub. L. 97–205, §5, June 29, 1982, 96 Stat. 134, provided that this section is effective Jan. 1, 1984.

CHAPTER 107—RIGHT TO VOTE AT AGE EIGHTEEN

Sec.
10701.
Enforcement of twenty-sixth amendment.
10702.
"State" defined.

        

§10701. Enforcement of twenty-sixth amendment

(a)(1) The Attorney General is directed to institute, in the name of the United States, such actions against States or political subdivisions, including actions for injunctive relief, as he may determine to be necessary to implement the twenty-sixth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

(2) The district courts of the United States shall have jurisdiction of proceedings instituted under this chapter, which shall be heard and determined by a court of three judges in accordance with section 2284 of title 28, and any appeal shall lie to the Supreme Court. It shall be the duty of the judges designated to hear the case to assign the case for hearing and determination thereof, and to cause the case to be in every way expedited.

(b) Whoever shall deny or attempt to deny any person of any right secured by the twenty-sixth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States shall be fined not more than $5,000 or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

(Pub. L. 89–110, title III, §301, as added Pub. L. 91–285, §6, June 22, 1970, 84 Stat. 318; amended Pub. L. 94–73, title IV, §407, Aug. 6, 1975, 89 Stat. 405.)

Codification

Section was formerly classified to section 1973bb of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare, prior to editorial reclassification and renumbering as this section.

Amendments

1975Pub. L. 94–73 substituted provisions authorizing the Attorney General to institute proceedings to enforce twenty-sixth amendment, the jurisdiction of the district courts, and penalties for denial of rights secured by twenty-sixth amendment, for provisions relating to Congressional findings and prohibition of denial of right to vote on account of age.

§10702. "State" defined

As used in this chapter, the term "State" includes the District of Columbia.

(Pub. L. 89–110, title III, §302, as added Pub. L. 91–285, §6, June 22, 1970, 84 Stat. 318; amended Pub. L. 94–73, title IV, §407, Aug. 6, 1975, 89 Stat. 405.)

Codification

Section was formerly classified to section 1973bb–1 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare, prior to editorial reclassification and renumbering as this section.

Amendments

1975Pub. L. 94–73 substituted definition of State for provisions prohibiting denial of right to vote because of age.