MR. JUSTICE STEWART delivered the opinion of the Court.
Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965
The city of New Orleans brought this suit under § 5 seeking a judgment declaring that a reapportionment of New Orleans' councilmanic districts did not have the purpose or effect of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race or color.
New Orleans is a city of almost 600,000 people. Some 55% of that population is white and the remaining 45% is Negro. Some 65% of the registered voters are white, and the remaining 35% are Negro.
After receipt of the 1970 census figures the city council adopted a reapportionment plan (Plan I) that continued the basic north-to-south pattern of councilmanic districts combined with a wedge-shaped, downtown district. Under Plan I Negroes constituted a majority of the population in two districts, but they did not make up a majority of registered voters in any district. The largest percentage of Negro voters in a single district under Plan I was 45.2%. When the city submitted Plan I to the Attorney General pursuant to § 5, he objected to it, stating that it appeared to "dilute black voting strength by combining a number of black voters with a larger number of white voters in each of the five districts." He also expressed the view that "the district lines [were not] drawn as they [were] because of any compelling governmental need" and that the district lines did "not reflect numeric population configurations or considerations of district compactness or regularity of shape."
Even before the Attorney General objected to Plan I, the city authorities had commenced work on a second plan—Plan II.
The District Court concluded that Plan II would have the effect of abridging the right to vote on account of race or color.
As a separate and independent ground for rejecting Plan II, the District Court held that the failure of the plan to alter the city charter provision establishing two at-large seats had the effect in itself of "abridging the right to vote . . . on account of race or color." As the court put it: "[T]he City has not supported the choice of at-large elections by any consideration which would satisfy
The District Court therefore refused to allow Plan II to go into effect. As a result there have been no councilmanic elections in New Orleans since 1970, and the councilmen elected at that time (or their appointed successors) have remained in office ever since.
The appellants urge, and the United States on reargument of this case has conceded, that the District Court was mistaken in holding that Plan II could be rejected under § 5 solely because it did not eliminate the two at-large councilmanic seats that had existed since 1954. The appellants and the United States are correct in their interpretation of the statute in this regard.
The language of § 5 clearly provides that it applies only to proposed changes in voting procedures. "[D]iscriminatory practices . . . instituted prior to November 1964 . . . are not subject to the requirement of preclearance [under § 5]." U. S. Commission on Civil Rights, The Voting Rights Act: Ten Years After, p. 347. The ordinance that adopted Plan II made no reference to the at-large councilmanic seats. Indeed, since those seats had been established in 1954 by the city charter, an ordinance could not have altered them; any change in
The principal argument made by the appellants in this Court is that the District Court erred in concluding that the makeup of the five geographic councilmanic districts under Plan II would have the effect of abridging voting rights on account of race or color. In evaluating this claim it is important to note at the outset that the question is not one of constitutional law, but of statutory construction.
The legislative history reveals that the basic purpose of Congress in enacting the Voting Rights Act was "to rid the country of racial discrimination in voting." South Carolina v. Katzenbach, 383 U. S. at 315. Section 5 was intended to play an important role in achieving that goal:
See also H. R. Rep. No. 439, 89th Cong., 1st Sess., 9-11, 26; S. Rep. No. 162, 89th Cong., 1st Sess., pt. 3, pp. 6-9, 24; H. R. Rep. No. 91-397, pp. 6-8; H. R. Rep. No. 94-196, pp. 8-11, 57-60; S. Rep. No. 94-295, pp. 15-19; South Carolina v. Katzenbach, supra, at 335.
By prohibiting the enforcement of a voting-procedure change until it has been demonstrated to the United States Department of Justice or to a three-judge federal court that the change does not have a discriminatory effect, Congress desired to prevent States from `undo[ing] or defeat[ing] the rights recently won" by Negroes. H. R. Rep. No. 91-397, p. 8. Section 5 was intended
When it adopted a 7-year extension of the Voting Rights Act in 1975, Congress explicitly stated that "the standard [under § 5] can only be fully satisfied by determining on the basis of the facts found by the Attorney General [or the District Court] to be true whether the ability of minority groups to participate in the political process and to elect their choices to office is augmented, diminished, or not affected by the change affecting voting. . . ." H. R. Rep. No. 94-196, p. 60 (emphasis added).
It is thus apparent that a legislative reapportionment that enhances the position of racial minorities with respect to their effective exercise of the electoral franchise can hardly have the "effect" of diluting or abridging the right to vote on account of race within the meaning of § 5. We conclude, therefore, that such an ameliorative new legislative apportionment cannot violate § 5 unless the new apportionment itself so discriminates on the basis of race or color as to violate the Constitution.
The application of this standard to the facts of the present case is straightforward. Under the apportionment of 1961 none of the five councilmanic districts had a clear Negro majority of registered voters, and no Negro
It is so ordered.
MR. JUSTICE STEVENS took no part in the consideration or decision of this case.
MR. JUSTICE WHITE, dissenting.
With MR. JUSTICE MARSHALL, I cannot agree that § 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 reaches only those changes in election procedures that are more burdensome to the complaining minority than pre-existing procedures. As I understand § 5, the validity of any procedural change otherwise within the reach of the section must be determined under the statutory standard—whether the proposed legislation has the purpose or effect of abridging or denying the right to vote based on race or color.
This statutory standard is to be applied here in light of the District Court's findings, which are supported by the evidence and are not now questioned by the Court. The findings were that the nominating process in New Orleans' councilmanic elections is subject to majority vote and "anti-single-shot" rules and that there is a history of bloc racial voting in New Orleans, the predictable result being that no Negro candidate will win in any district in which his race is in the minority. In my view, where these facts exist, combined with a segregated residential pattern, § 5 is not satisfied unless, to the extent practicable, the new electoral districts afford the Negro minority the opportunity to achieve legislative representation roughly proportional to the Negro population
Bloc racial voting is an unfortunate phenomenon, but we are repeatedly faced with the findings of knowledgeable district courts that it is a fact of life. Where it exists, most often the result is that neither white nor black can be elected from a district in which his race is in the minority. As I see it, Congress has the power to minimize the effects of racial voting, particularly where it occurs in the context of other electoral rules operating to muffle the political potential of the minority. I am also satisfied that § 5 was aimed at this end, among others, and should be so construed and applied. See City of Richmond v. United States, 422 U.S. 358, 370-372 (1975).
Minimizing the exclusionary effects of racial voting is possible here because whites and blacks are not scattered evenly throughout the city; to a great extent, each race is concentrated in identifiable areas of New Orleans. But like bloc voting by race, this too is a fact of life, well known to those responsible for drawing electoral district lines. These lawmakers are quite aware that the districts they create will have a white or a black majority; and with each new district comes the unavoidable choice as to the racial composition of the district. It is here that § 5 intervenes to control these choices to the extent necessary to afford the minority the opportunity of achieving fair representation in the legislative body in question.
Applying § 5 in this way would at times require the drawing of district lines based on race; but Congress has this power where deliberate discrimination at the polls
Since Plan II at issue in this case falls short of satisfying § 5 and since I agree with MR. JUSTICE MARSHALL that the city has failed to present sufficiently substantial justifications for its proposal, I respectfully dissent and would affirm the judgment of the District Court.
MR. JUSTICE MARSHALL, with whom MR. JUSTICE BRENNAN joins, dissenting.
Over the past 10 years the Court has, again and again, read the jurisdiction of § 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, 79 Stat. 439, as amended, 89 Stat. 402, 404, 42 U. S. C. § 1973c (1970 ed., Supp. V), expansively so as "to give the Act the broadest possible scope" and to reach "any state enactment which altered the election law of a covered State in even a minor way." Allen v. State Board of Electronics, 393 U.S. 544, 567, 566 (1969). See also Georgia v. United States, 411 U.S. 526 (1973); Perkins v. Matthews, 400 U.S. 379 (1971); South Carolina v. Katzenbach, 383 U.S. 301 (1966). While we have settled the contours of § 5's jurisdiction, however, we have yet to devote much attention to defining § 5's substantive force within those bounds. Thus, we are faced today for the first time with the question of § 5's substantive application to a redistricting plan. Essentially, we must answer one question: When does a redistricting plan have the effect of "abridging" the right to vote on account of race or color?
The Court never answers this question. Instead, it produces a convoluted construction of the statute that transforms the single question suggested by § 5 into three questions, and then provides precious little guidance in answering any of them.
Implicitly admitting as much, the Court adds another question, this one to be asked if the proposed plan is not "retrogressive": whether "the new apportionment itself so discriminates on the basis of race or color as to violate the Constitution." Ante, at 141. This addition does much—in theory, at least—to salvage the Court's test, since our decisions make clear that the proper test of abridgment under § 5 is essentially the constitutional inquiry.
Still, I cannot accept the Court's awkward construction. Not only is the Court's multiple-step inquiry unduly cumbersome and an unnecessary burden to place upon the Attorney General and the District Court for the District of Columbia, but the Court dilutes the meaning of unconstitutionality in this context to the point that the congressional purposes in § 5 are no longer served and the sacred guarantees of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments emerge badly battered. And in the process, the Court approves a blatantly discriminatory districting plan for the city of New Orleans. I dissent.
The Fifteenth Amendment provides:
Although the Amendment is self-enforcing, litigation to secure the rights it guarantees proved time consuming and ineffective, while the will of those who resisted its command was strong and unwavering. Finally Congress decided to intervene. In 1965 it enacted the Voting Rights Act, designed "to rid the country of racial discrimination in voting." South Carolina v. Katzenbach, 383 U. S., at 315. See also id., at 308-315. The Act proclaims that its purpose is "to enforce the fifteenth amendment to the Constitution . . . ," 79 Stat. 437; the heart of its enforcement mechanism is § 5. In language that tracks that of the Fifteenth Amendment, § 5 declares that no State covered by the Act shall enforce any plan with respect to voting different from that in effect on November 1, 1964, unless the Attorney General or a three-judge District Court in the District of Columbia declares that such plan
While the substantive reach of § 5 is somewhat broader than that of the Fifteenth Amendment in at least one regard —the burden of proof is shifted from discriminatee
In justifying its convoluted construction of § 5, however, the Court never deals with the fact that, by its plain language, § 5 does no more than adopt, or arguably expand,
Ultimately, the Court admits as much by adding an inquiry into whether the proposed plan, even if "ameliorative," is constitutional. After this admission, I cannot understand why the Court bothers at all with its preliminary inquiry into the nature of the change of plans, since the inquiry not only adds nothing, but will, I fear, prove to be a time-consuming distraction from the important business of assessing the constitutionality of the proposed plan.
The proper test in § 5 redistricting cases is preordained by our prior cases, which are ignored today by the Court. As suggested above, we have repeatedly recognized the relevance of constitutional standards to the proper construction of § 5. Thus, we have held that in passing that provision " `Congress intended to adopt the concept of voting articulated in Reynolds v. Sims, 377 U.S. 533 (1964), and protect Negroes against a dilution of their voting power.' " Perkins v. Matthews, 400 U. S., at 390, quoting Allen v. State Board of Elections, 393 U. S., at 588 (opinion of Harlan, J.). See also Georgia v. United States, 411 U. S., at 532-533; Allen v. State Board of Elections, supra, at 565-566, 569.
See also Whitcomb v. Chavis, supra, at 149.
It is this constitutionally based concept of dilution that we have held to govern in § 5 proceedings. The concept may be readily transferred to the § 5 context simply by adjusting for the shifted burden of proof. Thus, if the proposed redistricting plan underrepresents minority group members, the burden is on the covered
Application of these standards to the case before us is straightforward. Preliminarily, while I agree with the Court that the two at-large seats on the New Orleans City Council are not themselves before the Court for approval and cannot serve as an independent basis for the rejection of Plan II, I do not think Plan II should be assessed without regard to the seven-member council it is designed to fill. Proportional representation of Negroes among the five district seats on the council does not assure Negroes proportional representation on the entire council when, as the District Court found, the two at-large seats will be occupied by white-elected members.
Thus the District Court correctly began by considering the seven-member council and a districting plan that, given New Orleans' long history of racial bloc voting,
The court found that Louisiana's majority-vote requirement and "anti-single-shot" requirement operate as a practical matter to defeat Negroes in any district in which they do not constitute a majority,
Since Negroes are underrepresented by Plan II and have been denied equal access to the political processes in New Orleans, Plan II infringes upon constitutionally protected rights, and only a compelling justification can save the plan. The very nature of the Negro community in New Orleans and the manner of its distortion by Plan II immediately place the city's explanations in a suspect light. The Negro community is not dispersed, but rather is collected in a concentrated curving band that runs roughly east-west. The districts in Plan II run north-south and divide the Negro community into five parts. Counsel for intervenor Jackson vividly described the effect of this division at oral argument:
As Jonathan A. Eckert, the council staff member primarily
New Orleans relies on seven goals that it claims mandate a north-south scheme such as Plan II. The city's own belief in this conclusion is questionable in light of Mr. Eckert's testimony in the District Court that he and his staff had drafted at least two east-west plans that satisfied them. 1 App. 336-337. In any case, however, the asserted goals, whether taken alone or in combination, do not establish a compelling justification for the plan. One claimed purpose is to prevent dilution of the vote of minority groups. Plan II plainly does not achieve this goal. Two other asserted aims are to achieve substantial numerical equality among the five districts and to keep the resultant districts compact and contiguous. Both aims can be accomplished by any number of east-west plans as well. Three more proffered justifications are to preserve ward and precinct lines, natural boundaries, and manmade boundaries. But there are findings that ward lines cannot be observed in any case because of one-person, one-vote restrictions, and that precincts are sufficiently small that their integrity can be honored in east-west districts. This latter fact minimizes any adverse effects of violating natural and manmade boundaries, except to the extent that they divide communities of different social or economic interests. And Plan II only erratically keeps such communities intact.
It is only the seventh of the proffered goals that, if compelling, mandates a north-south scheme: keeping incumbents apart in the new districts so that they will
Thus, the city has failed to show an acceptable justification for the racially dilutive effect of Plan II. Accordingly, the District Court correctly concluded that appellants failed to demonstrate that Plan II would not have the effect of abridging the right to vote on account of race, and correctly denied the requested declaratory judgment.
"Whenever a State or political subdivision with respect to which the prohibitions set forth in section 1973b (a) of this title based upon determinations made under the first sentence of section 1973b (b) of this title are in effect shall enact or seek to administer any voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure with respect to voting different from that in force or effect on November 1, 1964, or whenever a State or political subdivision with respect to which the prohibitions set forth in section 1973b (a) of this title based upon determinations made under the second sentence of section 1973b (b) of this title are in effect shall enact or seek to administer any voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure with respect to voting different from that in force or effect on November 1, 1968, or whenever a State or political subdivision with respect to which the prohibitions set forth in section 1973b (a) of this title based upon determinations made under the third sentence of section 1973b (b) of this title are in effect shall enact or seek to administer any voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure with respect to voting different from that in force or effect on November 1, 1972, such State or subdivision may institute an action in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia for a declaratory judgment that such qualification, prerequisite, standard, practice, or procedure does not have the purpose and will not have the effect of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race or color, or in contravention of the guarantees set forth in section 1973b (f) (2) of this title, and unless and until the court enters such judgment no person shall be denied the right to vote for failure to comply with such qualification, prerequisite, standard, practice, or procedure: Provided, That such qualification, prerequisite, standard, practice, or procedure may be enforced without such proceeding if the qualification, prerequisite, standard, practice, or procedure has been submitted by the chief legal officer or other appropriate official of such State or subdivision to the Attorney General and the Attorney General has not interposed an objection within sixty days after such submission, or upon good cause shown, to facilitate an expedited approval within sixty days after such submission, the Attorney General has affirmatively indicated that such objection will not be made. Neither an affirmative indication by the Attorney General that no objection will be made, nor the Attorney General's failure to object, nor a declaratory judgment entered under this section shall bar a subsequent action to enjoin enforcement of such qualification, prerequisite, standard, practice, or procedure. In the event the Attorney General affirmatively indicates that no objection will be made within the sixty-day period following receipt of a submission, the Attorney General may reserve the right to reexamine the submission if additional information comes to his attention during the remainder of the sixty-day period which would otherwise require objection in accordance with this section. Any action under this section shall be heard and determined by a court of three judges in accordance with the provisions of section 2284 of Title 28 and any appeal shall lie to the Supreme Court." 79 Stat. 439, as amended, 89 Stat. 402, 404, 42 U. S. C. § 1973c (1970 ed., Supp. V).
The defendants in the suit were the United States and the Attorney General of the United States. A group of Negro voters of New Orleans intervened on the side of the defendants in the District Court.
There is no decision in this Court holding a legislative apportionment or reapportionment violative of the Fifteenth Amendment. Cf. Wright v. Rockefeller, 376 U.S. 52. The case closest to so holding is Gomillion v. Lightfoot, 364 U.S. 339, in which the Court found that allegations of racially motivated gerrymandering of a municipality's political boundaries stated a claim under that Amendment. The many cases in this Court involving the Fourteenth Amendment's "one man, one vote" standard are not relevant here. See Reynolds v. Sims, 377 U.S. 533. But in at least four cases the Court has considered claims that legislative apportionments violated the Fourteenth Amendment rights of identifiable racial or ethnic minorities. See Fortson v. Dorsey, 379 U.S. 433, 439; Burns v. Richardson, 384 U.S. 73, 86-89; Whitcomb v. Chavis, 403 U.S. 124, 149; White v. Regester, 412 U.S. 755. Plan II does not remotely approach a violation of the constitutional standards enunciated in those cases.
In the two Fifteenth Amendment redistricting cases, Wright v. Rockefeller, 376 U.S. 52 (1964), and Gomillion v. Lightfoot, 364 U.S. 339 (1960), the Court suggested that legislative purpose alone is determinative, although language in both cases may be isolated that seems to approve some inquiry into effect insofar as it elucidates purpose. See 376 U. S., at 52; 364 U. S., at 341. See also 376 U. S., at 73-74 (Goldberg, J., dissenting). McGowan v. Maryland, 366 U.S. 420, 453 (1961), an equal protection-First Amendment case, expressly states that effect is of relevance in imputing an improper purpose, but that legislation is invalidated only for having such a purpose. And City of Richmond v. United States, 422 U.S. 358, 378-379 (1975), suggests that bad purpose may invalidate a law under the Fifteenth Amendment even if there is no unconstitutional effect at all.
Completely contrary to these cases are those that hold that legislative purpose is wholly irrelevant to the constitutionality of legislation —indeed, that purpose may not be examined at all—and that a statute may be invalidated only if it has an unconstitutional effect. Palmer v. Thompson, 403 U.S. 217, 224-225 (1971), and United States v. O'Brien, 391 U.S. 367, 384-385 (1968), both vigorously attack purpose analysis and assert that Gomillion was decided as it was only because the statute in question had an unlawful effect.
Between these two positions are the cases that hold that either an impermissible purpose or an impermissible effect may alone be sufficient to invalidate a law. Board of Education v. Allen, 392 U.S. 236, 243 (1968); Abington School District v. Schempp, 374 U.S. 203, 222 (1963). While there is no need here to synthesize these three positions and the various cases, if indeed a synthesis is possible, it should be clear that the language of purpose and effect selected by Congress for use in § 5 is not necessarily an expansion of the constitutional standard. Congress did no more than adopt the third of the tests that the Court itself has juggled over the years, See generally Ely, Legislative and Administrative Motivation in Constitutional Law, 79 Yale L. J. 1205 (1970).
It may be that this single purpose looms so large to the Court because it thinks it would be counterproductive to bar enforcement of a proposed plan, even if discriminatory, that is at all less discriminatory than the pre-existing plan, which would otherwise remain frozen in effect. While this argument has superficial appeal, it is ultimately unrealistic because it will be a rare jurisdiction that can retain its pre-existing apportionment after the rejection of a modification by the Attorney General or District Court. Jurisdictions do not undertake redistricting without reason. In this case, for instance, the New Orleans City Charter requires redistricting every 10 years. If the plan before us now were disapproved, New Orleans would have to produce a new one or amend its charter. In other cases, redistricting will have been constitutionally compelled by our one-person, one-vote decisions. Reynolds v. Sims, 377 U.S. 533 (1964). The virtual necessity of prompt redistricting argues strongly in favor of rejecting "ameliorative" but still discriminatory redistricting plans. The jurisdictions will eventually have to return with a nondiscriminatory plan.
Population Registered Voters District % Negro % Negro _________________________________________________________________ A 31.6 22.7 B 62.2 50.2 C 40.2 24.6 D 43.7 36.3 E 49.4 42.8 _________________________________________________________________
App. 621. Under Plan II, which is at issue in this lawsuit, the same population is distributed in this manner:
Population Registered Voters District % Negro % Negro ________________________________________________________________ A 29.1 22.6 B 64.1 52.6 C 35.8 23.3 D 43.5 36.8 E 50.6 43.2 ________________________________________________________________
Thus the positive change that convinces the Court that no inquiry into possible "abridgment" is necessary is the change from a majority of registered voters in District B of 50.2% (which the Court fails to mention) to what the Court calls a "clear" majority (although the Court has no idea what percentage of registered Negro voters actually vote) in that district of 52.6%. The Court also emphasizes that now Negroes constitute a majority of the population in two districts, whereas under the existing plan they are a majority in only one district. This beneficial change is accomplished by the shift from a minority of 49.4% of the population in District E to a majority in that district of 50.6%.
"The preclearance procedure—and this is critical—serves psychologically to control the proliferation of discriminatory laws and practices because each change must first be federally reviewed. Thus section 5 serves to prevent discrimination before it starts." 115 Cong. Rec. 38486 (1969) (remarks of Rep. McCulloch).
See also id., at 38517 (remarks of Rep. Anderson); U. S. Commission on Civil Rights, The Voting Rights Act: Ten Years After, pp. 30-31 (1975).
The Act's limited term is proof that Congress intended to secure prompt, and not gradual, relief. Originally, the Act was intended to be in effect for only five years. While it has been twice extended, each extension was also for only a few years: five more years in 1970, and seven more years in 1975. Thus, it cannot be argued that the Act contemplated slow forward movement, which the Court's construction sanctifies, rather than a quick remedial "fix."
For instance, the Court today finds that an increase in the size of the Negro majority in one district, with a concomitant increased likelihood of electing a delegate, conclusively shows that Plan II is ameliorative. Will that always be so? Is it not as common for minorities to be gerrymandered into the same district as into separate ones? Is an increase in the size of an existing majority ameliorative or retrogressive? When the size of the majority increases in one district, Negro voting strength necessarily declines elsewhere. Is that decline retrogressive? Assuming that the shift from a 50.2% to a 52.6% majority in District B in this case is ameliorative, and is not outweighed by the simultaneous decrease in Negro voting strength in Districts A and C, when would an increase become retrogressive? As soon as the majority becomes "safe"? When the majority is achieved by dividing pre-existing concentrations of Negro voters?
Moreover, the Court implies, ante, at 139 n. 11, by its attempt to harmonize its holding today with City of Richmond v. United States, supra, that this preliminary inquiry into the nature of the change is the proper approach to all § 5 cases. The Court's test will prove even more difficult of application outside the redistricting context. Some changes just do not lend themselves to comparison in positive or negative terms; others will always seem negative—or positive—no matter how good or bad the result. For instance, when a city goes from an appointed town manager to an elected council form of government, can the change ever be termed retrogressive, even if the new council is elected at large and Negroes are a minority? Or where a jurisdiction in which Negroes are a substantial minority switches from at-large to ward voting, can that change ever constitute a negative change, no matter how badly the wards are gerrymandered?
I realize, of course, that determining the ultimate question of "abridgment" may involve answering questions similar to those I have posed above and that those questions will be just as difficult to answer. My point, however, is exactly that the inquiry is a difficult one, and that there is no reason substantially to compound that complexity by posing an unnecessary and equally complex preliminary inquiry.
Seeking another source for a § 5 test is particularly appropriate given the scarcity of Fifteenth Amendment case law. Wright v. Rockefeller, 376 U.S. 52 (1964), and Gomillion v. Lightfoot, 364 U.S. 339 (1960), the only relevant Fifteenth Amendment cases, predate not only the Voting Rights Act, its incorporation of the language of the Fifteenth Amendment, and our cases construing that incorporation, but also all the Fourteenth Amendment developments discussed in the text. For these reasons, and because neither case states a general test, Wright and Gomillion are of no help at all in formulating a test for § 5 cases.
The "anti-single-shot" rule is a requirement that in a multi-member district the voter must vote for as many candidates as there are seats to be filled. Thus, although the voter may be interested in only one of the candidates, he must vote for others as well.