Section 5 was not intended to guarantee partisan or racial outcomes in elections. It was intended to give everyone an equal chance at the starting line in fair districts in elections held under fair rules and procedures. It was meant to put federal muscle behind ensuring all who were eligible to vote could do so.

James Young’s election in Philadelphia was no fluke and no accident. Twice now, in a town with a difficult past, majority white voters have chosen to elect a minority candidate as their mayor.

At American Legion Boys State earlier this year, I watched a vast white majority of Mississippi young men elect a black young man their governor after he stood in the arena and successfully competed for the job. That’s Mississippi’s future and it looks both fair and bright and it doesn’t require federal oversight.

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