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Justice Dept OKs Hanover voting law exemption

Tuesday - 6/25/2013, 4:10am  ET

HANOVER, Va. (AP) -- The Justice Department has agreed to exempt Hanover County from a key provision of the federal Voting Rights Act.

The department filed a consent decree Monday in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. The agreement, which also includes the town of Ashland, requires court approval.

Virginia and its political subdivisions have been subject to the 1965 Voting Rights Act's so-called preclearance requirements. The law requires states and localities with a history of racial discrimination in elections to obtain the Justice Department's approval of any changes in voting qualifications and election practices.

Jurisdictions can seek an exemption if they can demonstrate a 10-year record of nondiscrimination in voting-related actions.

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