Lynchburg (WSLS) On Tuesday, the Lynchburg City Council voted 7-0 to change the location of a Ward III polling place.
The unanimous decision made history as it was the first time, since the Voting Rights Act of 1965, that city leaders decided a voting change without a federal review.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was put into place to prohibit discrimination and protect voters from unfair practices. The landmark legislation was signed into law during the height of the Civil Rights Movement.
In 2013 the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Shelby County v. Holder allowed communities in Virginia to act independently on voting issues without preclearance from federal officials.
In the past decade areas including Salem, Roanoke County and Bedford went through the “Bailout” process and were exempt from preclearance. Voting officials said removing the federal review process could shave off weeks in between changes to polling places.
Starting this November, voters in Lynchburg will go to the Lynchburg First Church of the Nazarene instead of Heritage Elementary.