Potential Voting Rights Act Impacts

Last Thursday we looked at the impact of potential outcomes by an expected Supreme Court ruling on two gar marriage cases. (We’re still waiting, probably until this Thursday, though it could be today.) Today, we look at the impact of potential outcomes of another big case before the Court, the Voting Rights Act. Broadly (and quickly), Shelby County, Alabama is challenging the federal government, which according to the act, must approve any changes to electoral law in those places that have had problems in their history of disenfranchising black citizens (and more recently non-English speaking citizens, i.e. Hispanics). The act was renewed for 25 years by President Bush back in 2006.

The New York Times explains through interactive maps first the geographic scope of this federal approval. As one might expect, it significantly impacts southern states. But the rules used to determine that coverage are decades old.

Current coverage
Current coverage

But if the current process must change, several different metrics by which alternative coverage could be determined would offer different coverage. The New York Times allows user to see those different metrics, and then adjust filters to fine tune those areas covered. A nice feature for all of these views is the ability to show/hide those areas under the current coverage.

Using prejudice to define coverage
Using prejudice to define coverage

Credit for the piece goes to the New York Times graphics department.

Author: Brendan Barry

I am a graphic designer who focuses on information design. My day job? I am the data visualisation manager for the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. (This blog is my something I do on my own time and does not represent the views of the Fed, blah blah blah legal stuff.) And with my main interest in information design—be it in the shape of clear charts, maps, diagrams, or wayfinding systems—I am fortunate that my day job focuses on data visualisation. Outside of work, I try to stay busy with personal design work. Away from the world of design, I enjoy cooking and reading and am interested in various subjects from history and geography to politics to science to the arts. And I allow all of them to influence my work.

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