The Voting Rights Act of 1965 requires states and localities with a history of racial discrimination in elections to obtain Justice Department approval of any changes in voting qualifications and election practices.
Virginia and its political subdivisions have been subject to the pre-clearance requirements.?? However, the law allows covered jurisdictions to seek an exemption if they can demonstrate a 10-year record of nondiscrimination in voting-related actions.
The Justice Department found that Rappahannock, its school district and the Town of Washington qualify for the bailout.
But a consent decree still must be approved by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.