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Bills in several states are, in effect, creating a two-pronged approach to urban and rural areas that raises questions about the disparate treatment of cities and the large number of voters of color who live in them and is helping fuel opposition from corporations that are based in or have work forces in those places.

I found the above sentence in New York Times. My confusion is about the uses of 'and' in the following part-'the large number of voters of color who live in them and is helping fuel opposition'. Here the use of 'and' is correct? To me, it seems unnecessary. Please, enlighten me.

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  • It is necessary to join together the two clauses. Without some conjunction you’d have “them is helping...” which makes no sense. Please do find a better source for info on US election laws though. Apr 24, 2021 at 19:20

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Bills in several states are, in effect, creating a two-pronged approach to urban and rural areas that raises questions about the disparate treatment of cities and the large number of voters of color who live in them and is helping fuel opposition from corporations that are based in or have work forces in those places.

A simplified version for clarity is

...a two-pronged approach...that raises questions...and is helping fuel opposition....

The conjunction and is necessary. In this simplified version, and joins the phrases that raises questions and is helping fuel opposition.

In the original version, and joins "that raises questions about the disparate treatment of cities and the large number of voters of color who live in them" and "is helping fuel opposition from corporations that are based in or have work forces in those places".

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A comma would help, but is not absolutely necessary. If you placed a comma after "...who live in them" the structure becomes clearer

Perhaps this parsing helps

Bills in several states are,

in effect,

creating a two-pronged approach to urban and rural areas

that raises questions about

the disparate treatment of cities
and the large number of voters of color who live in them

and is helping fuel opposition from corporations

that are based in or have work forces in those places.

The subject of "is helping..." is "a two-pronged approach to urban and rural areas"

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