Work continues at the University of Oklahoma Press
V.O. Key Award, Southern Political Association

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 achieved what two constitutional amendments and three civil rights acts could not: giving African Americans in the South access to the ballot free from restriction or intimidation. The most exhaustive treatment of elections and race in the region in sixty years, The Triumph of Voting Rights in the South explores the impact of that landmark legislation and highlights lingering concerns about minority political participation.

In this state-by-state assessment, Charles S. Bullock III and Ronald Keith Gaddie show how minorities have become politically empowered thanks to the act—particularly its Section 5 provision, which requires jurisdictions that have had low levels of minority voting to obtain federal clearance before altering election laws. Blending data and anecdote, the authors demonstrate how minority participation in politics has improved as measured by voter registration and turnout, election of African Americans to political office, and minorities’ success in electing preferred candidates. Eleven southern states are discussed, including Arkansas and Tennessee, where Section 5 was not implemented, and Florida and Texas, where the act takes into account Latino participation.

Concluding chapters offer a comparative assessment of voting rights progress across the South, explore the political by-products of the act, and analyze the 2008 election of President Barack Obama in light of wider access to the polls. The authors also discuss whether Section 5, set to expire in 2031, will be needed any longer. Political scientists, historians, students, and all those interested in southern politics and minority voting rights will find this study rich in information and insight as it shows how race and party interact in the modern South.

About The Author

Charles S. Bullock III is the Richard B. Russell Professor of Political Science and Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Georgia.

Keith Gaddie is a Professor in the Department of Political Science. He joined the faculty in 1996, after four years on the faculty of the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans. Keith offers courses in the graduate methods sequence, courses on parties, campaigns, elections, and Southern Politics, and he regularly offers the P Sc 1113 American Federal Government course.

Keith is the author, coauthor, or coeditor of fourteen books: The Economic Realities of Political Reform: Elections and the U.S. Senate (1995); David Duke and the Politics of Race in the South (1995) The Almanac of Oklahoma Politics 1998 (1998); The Almanac of Oklahoma Politics 2000 (1999); The Almanac of Oklahoma Politics 2002 (2001); Regulating Wetlands Protection: Environmental Federalism and the States (2000); Elections to Open Seats in the US House: Where the Action Is (August 2000); Born to Run: The Origins of the Political Career (2004); The Political Encyclopedia of U.S. States and Regions (2008); The University of Georgia Football (2008); The University of Kentucky Basketball (2008); The University of Louisville Basketball (2008); Georgia Politics in a State of Change (2009); and The Triumph of Voting Rights in the South (2009).

Over the past several years, Keith has offered commentary, interviews, or served as a guest broadcaster for several local, national and international media outlets. From 2005-07 he was a regular new contributor and host for WKY-930 AM and KTLR-890 AM, and he currently serves as a regular contributor to KGOU 106.3 FM (National Public Radio) and KWTV-9 (CBS).

Keith has worked as a litigation consultant in voting rights and redistricting cases, for both major parties and for both plaintiffs and respondents, including cases in Florida, Illinois, New York, Virginia, Georgia, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wyoming, New Mexico and Texas.

Book Information
14 b&w illus., 3 maps, 83 Tables
448 Pages
Hardcover 978-0-8061-4079-7
Published November 2009
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