High court ruling removes La. from preclearance

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana’s voting laws and election districts no longer need federal approval before changes can take effect.

Secretary of State Tom Schedler says Tuesday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling means the state doesn’t have to follow a pre-clearance requirement mandated in the 1965 Voting Rights Act, unless Congress redesigns the formula.

Implications of the court ruling likely won’t be immediately noticeable in Louisiana.

State lawmakers already had redrawn U.S. House, legislative and education board districts after the latest census, and those maps received clearance from the Justice Department.

Schedler says a handful of municipalities and local school boards were awaiting approval for district redesigns and now won’t need clearance.

The secretary of state’s office will notice the change quickly, no longer needing federal review of routine changes to voting precincts and forms.