Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed Senate amended (07/24/1975)

(Measure passed Senate, amended, roll call #329 (77-12))

=Title I:= Extends for seven years the provisions of the Voting Rights Act relating to: (1) the automatic formula which subjects jurisdictions to the coverage or temporary remedies of the Act; (2) enforcement of changes in election laws of covered jurisdictions without certification; and (3) Federal examiners of registration and election monitoring.

Establishes a permanent nationwide ban on literacy tests and other devices as prerequisites to registration and voting.

=Title II:= Suspends the use of election and registration materials or assistance only in English in jurisdictions newly made subject to this Act. Prescribes exemptions from this provision and conditions for determination of whether a jurisdiction is subject to such provision.

Prohibits State and local governments from enacting any voting procedure designed to deny or abridge the right to vote of any citizen because he is a member of a language minority group. Sets forth procedures to determine if a jurisdiction employs tests or devices.

Requires covered jurisdictions which provide registration and voting materials to the public to provide them in the language of the minority group which caused such jurisdiction to be covered, provided that where the language of the applicable minority group is oral or unwritten, the State or jurisdiction is only required to furnish oral instructions, assistance, or other information relating to registration and voting.

Freezes electoral laws and procedures of newly covered jurisdictions as of November 1, 1972. Requires changes in such laws to be certified by the Attorney General or the District Court for the District of Columbia before being enforced.

Adds the Fourteenth Amendment as a basis for these voting rights amendments.

Defines "language minorities" and "language minority group" for purposes of the Voting Rights Act.

=Title III:= Prohibits, for 10 years, State and local officials from providing English-only voting and registration materials if more than five percent of the citizens of voting age in the jurisdiction are of a single language minority, whose predominant written language is other than English, and the illiteracy rate of such group is higher than that for all persons of voting age, provided that where the language of the applicable minority group is oral or unwritten, the jurisdiction is only required to furnish oral instructions, assistance, or other information relating to registration and voting.

Permits States or political subdivisions subject to the requirements of this Act to file an action against the United States in United States District Court for a declaratory judgment permitting provision of registration and voting materials in English only.

Authorizes suits by the Attorney General for violations of this title.

Authorizes criminal penalties for such violations.

=Title IV:= Permits a court to grant the special remedies of the Voting Right Act (Federal registrars, observers, and preclearance of voting changes) in suits brought by private aggrieved parties to enforce the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments.

Authorizes the payment of attorney's fees to prevailing private parties in suits to enforce the voting guarantees of the Fourteenth or Fifteenth Amendment.

Allows the conditional enforcement of voting law changes within jurisdictions within the 60-day period in which the Attorney General reviews such changes.

Authorizes the enforcement by the Attorney General of the Twenty-Sixth Amendment.

Imposes a $10,000 fine or five years imprisonment, or both, for voting more than once in a Federal election.