Supreme Court ruling affects 5 Fla. counties

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Voting Rights Act means five Florida counties will no longer need federal approval before voting changes are put in place.

The court ruled Tuesday that the provision is based on 40-year-old data and doesn't reflect racial progress and current conditions.

Before the ruling, Hillsborough, Monroe, Collier, Hendry and Hardee counties could not put in place election changes enacted by the Legislature until the U.S. Justice Department gave its OK.

Secretary of State Ken Detzner said the ruling will allow Florida to streamline its elections and will save the state money on legal fees spend on defending election laws.

Gov. Rick Scott also praised the decision, saying it allows Florida to make its own decisions.

Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.