Many mechanisms plague the minority electorate and have the intent and effect of diluting the black vote in the south. The use of at- large elections almost uniformly deters black representation in public offices, especially at the city and county level of government throughout the southern states.

In addition to such practices which have existed since the period prior to passage of the act, those who would devise new barriers to black participation in southern politics are hard at work gerrymandering, annexing, consolidating, changing polling - places, changing election methods-- in short, using every - conceivable tactic to oppose, circumvent, or ignore the intent of the voting rights act.

Gerrymandering has occurred in recent years, ranging from congressional boundaries to city council districts. The state-

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