Voting Rights Act of 1965

Section 2

Prohibits voting practices or procedures that discriminate on the basis of race, color, or language.

Section 4

Establishes a formula for determining which areas would be covered by the mandate outlined in Section 5. Critics argued that the formula behind this section was outdated; the Supreme Court agreed and held it unconstitutional.

Section 5

Covered areas are required to get consent from the Justice Department before implementing changes that can affect voting. This section is rendered insignificant unless Congress agrees on a new formula to determine coverage.

SOURCES: Department of Justice, news reports