The Justice Department and the city of Bedford have reached agreement on a vestige of the segregated South — federal oversight of its local elections.
Justice officials announced Thursday they have filed a consent decree in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia that would free the city of 6,222 from government approval of any election changes.
The election oversight is part of the Voting Rights Act, which was enacted in 1965 to address widespread election abuses intended to deny African-Americans the vote.
The so-called bailout is allowed if a locality has not had any incidents of voter discrimination or discriminatory practices within the past 10 years.
Virginia election officials say less than 20 of Virginia’s 134 localities have been granted bailouts under the act.