The city of Pinson is the first in Alabama to be free of the federal requirement for prior approval of election-related changes.
The Birmingham News reports (http://bit.ly/IlWBUj ) a three-judge panel in Washington has signed off on the deal reached last month between the city and the U.S. Department of Justice to let Pinson out of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.
The city successfully argued it doesn't have the history of voting discrimination that caused Congress to impose the anti-discrimination law's requirements on certain places across the country in 1965.
Pinson Mayor Hoyt Sanders says he's already received phone calls from other officials in other cities interested in pursuing a similar exemption.
Filing the Section 5 requests cost the city between $8,000 and $15,000 annually.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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