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Justice Dept. rules on NH community voting exemptions

Several New Hampshire communities will no longer have to seek federal clearance for changes in voting rules, the U.S. Department of Justice said Friday.

The communities formerly covered under special provisions of the Voting Rights Act - Antrim, Benton, Boscawen, Millsfield, Newington, Pinkham's Grant, Rindge, Stewartstown, Stratford and Unity - are exempted, or allowed to 'bail out,' from seeking preclearance from the federal government for changes in voting qualifications, standards, practices and procedures, the Justice Department said in a release.

'In the department's view, these covered towns and townships have met the requirements necessary for bailout,' Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, said in a statement. 'We reached this conclusion after thoroughly reviewing information provided by the state and the covered jurisdictions gathered during the department's independent investigation. I commend the State and the covered jurisdictions on their cooperation to ensure resolution of this matter.'

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