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Three California Counties Affected by Voting Rights Act Decision, Including Kings Co.

Jun 25, 2013

Hanford, in Kings County is one of three California counties impacted by the Supreme Court decision
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

The United States Supreme Court decision on the Voting Rights Act revolves around a county in Alabama. But, as Katie Orr reports from Sacramento, several counties in California will be affected too.

Yuba, Monterey and Kings Counties in California must currently get approval from the federal government for any election law changes. But they could eventually get some relief under the new U.S. Supreme Court decision. It orders Congress to change the formula for determining which jurisdictions require oversight. 

Loyola Law School Professor Jessica Levinson says the issues in the California counties date back to the 1972 presidential election.

“They had voter registration or voter turnout problems, which happens even in states where people think, well, they don’t have history of voter discrimination at all,” says Levinson.

The counties all had voter turnout levels below 50 percent. They maintain their large military populations artificially depressed turnout, which Levinson says is a possibility.

She says Congress must now act to change its formula, though she says that may take awhile.