Politics

ACLU Suing Ga. County After Polling Place Changes In Black Neighborhoods

A voter takes a "I'm a Georgia Voter" sticker after voting during Georgia's primary election at the polling station at South Lowndes Recreation Complex in Lake Park, Ga., Tuesday, March 1, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
A voter takes a "I'm a Georgia Voter" sticker after voting during Georgia's primary election at the polling station at South Lowndes Recreation Complex in Lake Park, Ga., Tuesday, March 1, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Credit Andrew Harnik / Associated Press
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A lawsuit alleges that officials in a Georgia county broke state law and should have to reconsider recent changes to several polling places in predominantly black neighborhoods.

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The lawsuit filed Tuesday by the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia says that state law requires notice of proposed polling place changes 14 days before a vote is taken. Attorneys for the voting-rights group say the Fulton County Board of Registration and Elections published notice of the proposed changes six days before voting in favor this month.

Representatives for the elections board and the county didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment on the lawsuit.

A county official told board members before last week’s vote that turnout at the precincts has declined because more people vote early.

In a press release, ACLU of Georgia Executive Director Andrea Young said “Sudden and secretive polling place closures are no way to run a democracy.”

“This law exists to protect voters, but the board went around it — changing the polling places of thousands of black voters months before a major mayoral election,” Young said in the statement.

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