Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Reported to Senate amended (05/25/1982)

(Reported to Senate from the Committee on the Judiciary with amendment, S. Rept. 97-417)

Voting Rights Act Amendments of 1982 - Amends the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to extend from August 6, 1982, to August 6, 1984, the current preclearance requirements (under which jurisdictions covered through the triggering mechanism must submit proposed electoral changes to the Department of Justice). Establishes a new standard for jurisdictions to "bail-out" of these requirements effective August 6, 1984.

Permits political subdivisions of covered States to bail-out independently of the State.

Conditions a declaratory judgment for bail-out on the jurisdiction's showing that it and all its political subdivisions have met the bail-out requirements for a ten-year period prior to the filing of the suit.

Includes among the requirements for bail-out that: (1) no test or device has been used to discriminate on account of race, color, or language; (2) no actions alleging voting discrimination are pending or have gone to final judgment; (3) no Federal examiner has served in the jurisdiction seeking bail-out; (4) the jurisdiction and all its subdivisions have compiled with the preclearance requirements; and (5) the jurisdiction and its subdivisions have taken affirmative steps to protect voting rights.

Stipulates that lawsuits filed during pendency of the bail-out litigation will not bar bail-out. Subjects the jurisdiction to the preclearance requirements if any such lawsuit alleging voting violations is successful after bail-out.

Restates the prohibition against voting discrimination to include as violative conduct which has the effect of discrimination. Declares that members of a protected class do not have a right to be proportionately represented, but permits consideration of the number of a protected class elected as one of a "totality of circumstances" which may establish a violation.

States further that a violation is established if it is shown, based on the "totality of circumstances", that the nomination or election processes are not equally open to members of a protected class insofar as its members have less opportunity to participate and elect their own representatives.

Extends the bilingual election requirements from August 6, 1985, to August 6, 1992.

Requires Congress to reconsider the bail-out provisions 15 years after the effective date of this Act and terminates these provisions 25 years after such date.

Permits assistance to be given to any voter requiring such by reason of blindness, disability, or inability to read or write, except by any such voter's employer or union.