1982 Voting Rights Act Amendments

In 1982, Congress renewed the special provisions of the Voting Rights Act for 25 more years, and changed the time limits jurisdictions had to meet to end preclearance (federal approval of elections law changes [int link]).

Intention vs. Result

One of the most important changes to the Voting Rights Act amended Section 2 protections. A 1980 U.S. Supreme Court decision Mobile v. Bolden stated that plaintiffs had to prove that laws were intended to discriminate against a protected group when fighting a violation of the Voting Rights Act.

In response, Congress changed the law to state that voting rights violations under Section 2 could be proved by showing that an election law or procedure resulted in discrimination, whether the law had intended to discriminate or not.

Extension to the Elderly and Disabled

Protections for elderly and disabled voters were added to the Voting Rights Act in 1984 [int link]. The Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act requires states to take specific steps to make the voting process accessible to people with disabilities .