The department announced it had granted Falls Church and the Falls Church Public School District exemption from the preclearance requirement in the Voting Rights Act. The act requires states with a history of denying blacks the right to vote, and local governments in those states, to get advance approval for changes in election procedures and eligibility.
Falls Church is a wealthy Washington suburb in Fairfax County. The entire state of Virginia has been seeking exemption, arguing its recent history -- including the election of Douglas Wilder in 1990 as the nation's first black governor -- shows it has moved beyond its segregated past.
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