(AP) - The Justice Department is supporting a legal effort by the Virginia city of Manassas Park that would grant relief from portions of the Voting Rights Act.
The landmark civil rights law requires jurisdictions in Virginia and other mostly southern states to obtain federal approval any time they change voting laws and procedures. The law is designed to protect minority rights at the ballot box.
Jurisdictions can sue for relief from the law if they can prove a clean recent history regarding voting discrimination. Manassas Park filed suit earlier this year. On Monday, the Justice Department agreed to support the city's application.
If a judge approves, Manassas Park will no longer need DOJ approval for changes to its voting laws and election districts. Several other Virginia counties are also seeking exemptions.