By Richard Winger
| Ballot Access News
| April 7, 2010 (Original Context
In November 2008, the voters of Kinston, North Carolina, voted to convert city elections from partisan to non-partisan. However, the U.S. Justice Department, Voting Rights Section, refused to allow the change.
Now advocates of non-partisan elections have filed a lawsuit in federal court in Washington, D.C., alleging that the Voting Rights Act, Section 5, is unconstitutional. Section 5 is the part of the Voting Rights Act that requires certain states to ask permission from the Voting Rights Section before changing any election law or practice. Most of the states covered by Section 5 are in the South. The voters were free to simply ask the U.S. District Court to overrule the Voting Rights Section, and approve the change from partisan to non-partisan elections. Instead, they are asking that the federal law itself be invalidated. The new case is LaRoque v Holder, 1:10-cv-00561. Thanks to ElectionLawBlog for this news.