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Reaction to Voting Rights Act

7:36 PM, Jun 25, 2013   |    comments
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File image of the United States Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C. from the Associated Press.

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- The Supreme Court ruling on the Voting Rights Act could allow states to draw their own redistricting lines without federal permission.

The law's intent was to stop gerrymandering, which took away the minority representation by requiring federal approval. But states say it's an old law and discrimination at the polls no longer exists.

Here's what people WZZM 13 spoke to had to say:

Sarah Toll, a Grand Rapids Resident says, "I think we should have to get approval... (there's) so much division is out there already, we don't have to be dividing anyone."

Sim Koning, also of Grand Rapids says, "Going back to the original intent of the law, it's for government preventing obvious discrimination. I've seen the districting maps and they look ridiculous."

Former State lawmaker Robert Dean says he is concerned about the ruling. "If it's demonstrated that there's no more discrimination than that's fine, but it's not as overt as it once was."

He says tactics are still used to discourage voters in minority dense neighborhoods, and Dean says that won't show up in statistical studies. "Voting booths are being shut down, there are long lines, and where are you seeing those long lines?"

It has the country watching and waiting to see what Congress will do next.

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