Buena Vista Township

Law
4:28 pm
Tue June 25, 2013

Why townships in Michigan were subject to the Voting Rights Act

The language used on ballots in some areas was covered by the Voting Rights Act.
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As Rick Pluta reported earlier, two Michigan townships could be affected by the U.S. Supreme Court's decision on the Voting Rights Act announced today.

The Voting Rights Act requires that the federal government approve any changes to voting procedures in areas with a history of discrimination.

In Michigan, Buena Vista Township and Clyde Township were both required to submit any proposed changes to their voting rules to the U.S. Department of Justice.

The Voting Rights Act covered areas where more than 5% of the population spoke a language other than English. In these areas, bilingual ballots were required. Both Buena Vista Townships and Clyde Townships had Hispanic populations above 5%.

An English-only ballot in these places was considered to be a discriminatory 'device', according to the The New York Times.

Zane McMillin of MLive reports on some of the requirements Clyde Township had to follow:

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