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​Based on a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision, local officials no longer have to receive preclearance from the U.S. Justice Department for election changes unless they are covered by a separate court order entered under Section 3(c) of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
 
On June 25, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court�s decision in Shelby County v. Holder held invalid a key provision of the Voting Rights Act.
 
Previously, local governments had to get prior approval or clearance from the Department�s Civil Rights Division before implementing any changes to the election procedures, registration procedures or requirements, polling places, precinct or ward boundaries, form of government or any other election process feature that could diminish the ability of racial and language minority groups to effectively exercise their right to vote. Preclearance was necessary for annexations as well.