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Statistical Methodology (2021) for Voting Rights Act, Section 203 Determinations

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As enacted in 1965 and amended in 1982 and 2006, Section 203(b) of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 requires that a State or political subdivision in certain circumstances must provide language assistance during elections for groups of citizens who are unable to speak or understand English well enough to participate in the electoral process. These circumstances are defined in Section 203(b) in terms of specific determinations involving the sizes and proportions of designated population subgroups as measured by the most current American Community Survey (ACS) and other census data. Section 203(b) as amended prescribes that the Director of the Census Bureau shall make these determinations every 5 years, based on population estimates derived from the ACS, and allows for the use of other relevant census data. This document summarizes the statistical methodology behind the 2021 determinations based on 2015-2019 5-year ACS data and released on December 8, 2021 (https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2021-26547).


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