Falls Church, Va., exempted from Voting Rights Act

April 25, 2013 at 6:33 PM

WASHINGTON, April 25 (UPI) -- Falls Church, Va., will no longer need U.S. Justice Department approval to make changes in voting procedures, department officials said Thursday.

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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