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BERRY V. DOLES, 438 U. S. 190 (1978)

U.S. Supreme Court

Berry v. Doles, 438 U.S. 190 (1978)

Berry v. Doles

No. 76-1690

Decided June 26, 1978

438 U.S. 190


In 1968, the Georgia statute covering the voting procedures for election of the three members of the Peach County Board of Commissioners of Roads and Revenues was amended so that, instead of all three posts being filled at four-year intervals, the single at-large member was to be elected to a two-year term in 1968 and to a four-year term at subsequent elections. Shortly before the 1976 primary election for two seats on the Board not including the at-large post, appellants brought an action to enforce § 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which requires changes in voting procedures to be submitted for approval either to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia or to the Attorney General. After the scheduled 1976 primary and general elections, a three-judge District Court enjoined further enforcement of the 1968 amendment until appellees effected compliance with § 5, but refused to set aside the 1976 elections, noting "an apparent lack of any discriminatory purpose or effect surrounding the use of the law in the 1976 elections."

Held: The District Court erred in denying affirmative relief as to the 1976 election, and should enter an order allowing appellees 30 days within which to apply for federal approval of the 1968 voting change under § 5.

Affirmed in part and reversed in part.

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