WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Randolph County Board of Elections and Registration voted down a proposal to shutter 75% of the county’s polling places during the November election amid criticism that doing so would discriminate against African-Americans living there. Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law released the following statement:
“This is a victory for African American voters across Georgia who are too often subject to a relentless campaign of voter suppression.
“The defeat of this proposal also shows the power of resistance and the impact that we can have by leveraging our voices against injustice. We’re pleased that the Board has seen fit to bow both to needs of the electorate and the dictates of the law and reject this poorly conceived consolidation of polling places. The right to vote is the most sacred civil right in our democracy and we stand fully prepared to defend that right throughout the midterm election cycle.”
On Monday, voting rights groups sent a pre-suit demand letter to the Randolph County Board of Elections and Registration objecting to its proposal and urging the Board to abandon the plan or risk facing legal action in federal court. The demand letter was issued by Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law on behalf of the New Georgia Project, the Georgia State Conference of the NAACP, and the Georgia Coalition for the Peoples’ Agenda.
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law has a long history of fighting voter suppression in Georgia including an attempt to relocate a polling site to a hostile location in Macon-Bibb County, a purge program in Hancock County, a discriminatory exact-match policy maintained by the Georgia Secretary of State, and more.
If prospective voters have any questions about the location of their polling place in Georgia or elsewhere, they may call the national, nonpartisan Election Protection hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE to receive assistance.
About the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. Now in its 55th year, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is continuing its quest “Move America Toward Justice.” The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice for all, particularly in the areas of criminal justice, fair housing and community development, economic justice, educational opportunities, and voting rights. For more information, please visit https://lawyerscommittee.org
Contact: Derrick Robinson, Lawyers’ Committee, [email protected], 202-662-8327 (o), 240-473-3034 (c)