To make an inventory of all litigation challenging at-large city council elections in the state over the previous twenty-five years. The fifth component allowed the authors to debate over how easy it was for minority candidates to win office in majority-white districts at the local level.The authors felt that the research would demonstrate the success of the Voting Rights Act in changing minority representation in the South. This was affirmed. However, a closer analysis of the data revealed that in several southern states this success story applied primarily to larger towns and cities. There were hundreds of smaller towns where the effects of the Voting Rights Act as a means to prevent minority vote dilution have not yet been felt.

In summary, while the research documented in this volume showed that the Voting Rights Act has wrought a "quiet revolution" in southern politics and is considered the single most successful civil rights bill ever passed, the need for it is far from over. The authors believe that the Voting Rights Act will be extensively used in coming years to break the barriers to Black officeholding in these small towns.









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November 1999