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Voting Rights Act (VRA) is one of the most important—if not the most important—public policies developed over the last half century to increase access to the U.S. political system for people of color. The VRA also provides an important context for understanding the ascension of nonwhite groups into the elected leadership of the nation (Browning, Marshall, and Tabb 1984; Davidson and Grofman 1994; Menifield 2001; Mc-Clain and Stewart 2002; Segura and Bowler 2005; Bositis 2006). This essay assesses the present-day significance of the VRA for the political representation of communities of color by examining the implications of majority-minority districts and other key provisions in the VRA for the election of nonwhite officials in the beginning years of the twenty-first century.



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