City wins lawsuit over change in election date for local offices

Tuesday, May 13, 2014 5:39 PM
Last updated 8:56 PM
  • Follow Elections

U.S. District Court Judge J. Randal Hall on Tuesday ruled in favor of the city in a lawsuit filed over the election date for local, nonpartisan races.

In a 10-page order, Hall granted Augusta’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

The lawsuit was filed April 18 on behalf of Augusta residents: Rep. Henry Howard, Rep. Earnest Smith, Rep. Gloria Frazier, Thomas Walker, Kenneth Martin, Augusta Commission candidate Melvin Ivey and Albert Robinson Jr. It contended that the decision to move the local elections from the November general election ballot to the May 20 statewide primary election ballot violates the Voting Rights Act.

Hall agreed with the city’s contention, however, that a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in June applies in the case. In Shelby County v. Holder, the court ruled states such as Georgia can no longer be forced to seek the U.S. Department of Justice’s preclearance to any change in the election process.

The court ruled that the formula used to determine which states had to seek preclearance could no longer be used. Without a formula, no state is currently subjected to the preclearance requirement, Hall wrote.

Although Georgia had submitted its change in election dates to the Justice Department before the Shelby decision was reached, the department’s objection is inescapably unenforceable, Hall wrote.

In December 2012, the Justice Department opposed the election date change, contending it would have the effect of denying or abridging the right to vote.

The election of the mayor and commission seats for Districts 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 races is May 20.

Absentee voting has been underway since early April, and early voting also has begun.

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edcushman
7930
Points
edcushman 05/13/14 - 08:59 pm
9
0
" In December 2012, the
Unpublished

" In December 2012, the Justice Department opposed the election date change, contending it would have the effect of denying or abridging the right to vote."
The democrats and the AG Holder said black folks are not smart enough to figure out how to vote if the election is changed from Nov. to May.

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 05/13/14 - 06:33 pm
0
0
The voting rights act of 1965,
Unpublished

the civil rights act of 1964 and affirmative action ARE THREE OF THE MOST RACIST PIECES OF LEGISLATION ever enacted into law. If blacks can't and won't become ADULTS on their own, they do NOT deserve any SPECIAL TREATMENT. Move back to the old country. Delta flies there every day. Even to the countries where blacks sold their own blacks into slavery in the first place.

Sweet son
12776
Points
Sweet son 05/13/14 - 06:43 pm
5
0
Helen Blocker-Adams even said that the lawsuit was not called

for and that she did not understand the suit. She is black and said that the suit appeared to portray black as not smart enough to vote on the selected.

This and the judge's ruling should alleviate the pressure on local black voters and they will turn out May 20 as any other date set for elections.

Hope the plaintiffs let it go and the elections proceed as mandated by 'real' law!

Dixieman
19088
Points
Dixieman 05/13/14 - 07:31 pm
9
0
Great! Now...

Next step: Order the plaintiffs and their attorneys to pay all costs and fees incurred by the defense, which are likely to be substantial. Otherwise we taxpayers will have to pay it. There will be no justice here unless those responsible for this frivolous suit have to make the taxpayers whole.

OJP
8389
Points
OJP 05/13/14 - 10:21 pm
0
4
Preclearance for some states is a good idea.

But without the formula, this was likely the only outcome.

GnipGnop
12978
Points
GnipGnop 05/14/14 - 12:10 am
10
0
Those pesky republicans

hired all those people to go into black folks homes and steal their calendars and their car keys to keep them from voting...I hope black people are paying attention to how their democratic leaders portray them as stupid and try to keep them dependent on them for all their needs. The best way to keep people down is take away their independence and their ability to be productive....

geecheeriverman
7690
Points
geecheeriverman 05/14/14 - 04:39 am
3
0
A win for the white folks

This is a win for the white folk. When it comes to civil rights issues, and the Federal Courts, white folk have had a hard time winning. Its about time for some common sense Judge to make a sensible decision.

soapy_725
44656
Points
soapy_725 05/14/14 - 06:11 am
0
0
Keep 'em barefoot and pregnant. You go Washington DC!!!!!!!!
Unpublished

Keep 'em barefoot and pregnant. You go Washington DC!!!!!!!!

Riverman1
102936
Points
Riverman1 05/14/14 - 06:14 am
5
0
Ridiculousness

What if whites complained THEIR voting strength was weakened by having the vote in November? Since whites are the minority in Richmond County and there isn't even a white candidate for mayor THEIR voting strength should be protected.

nocnoc
54519
Points
nocnoc 05/14/14 - 06:49 am
4
0
This was never a issue

It was a political stunt.
The only other thing I see as a possible reason was to confuse voters, IF there would be a May 20th vote, thus reducing Early voter numbers.

BTW: Early Voters statistically are the most likely to VOTE NO on special referendums issues.

Now I have myself wondering if there is a connection?

edcushman
7930
Points
edcushman 05/14/14 - 07:58 am
5
1
" The democrats and the AG
Unpublished

" The democrats and the AG Holder said black folks are not smart enough to figure out how to vote if the election is changed from Nov. to May"
Over 90% of black still support the lying, racist, communist in the WH but it is not because they are dumb it is all about reparations. Obama is silently handing out reparations to blacks.

itsanotherday1
50919
Points
itsanotherday1 05/14/14 - 08:51 am
5
0
Thank you Jesus!

For some common sense for a change. The very idea that a certain group's RIGHT TO VOTE is impacted based on the date of the election is ludicrous on its face.

If some people don't want to turn out for primary elections, it is up to those seeking their vote to motivate them.

This challenge was even more stupid than the idea photo I.D. somehow suppresses certain voters.

Darby
31757
Points
Darby 05/14/14 - 10:58 am
3
0
Some of us may just live long enough

to see the day when events from up to 200 years ago no longer continue to shape and even dominate the lives of children and adults who haven't even been born yet.

When one group of citizens are no longer hobbled and punished for the sins of people long dead in order to favor others that they are born in the same hospital with, go to school with, work with and live next door to.

The Voting Rights Act may have actually done SOME good. Nevertheless, it was a crutch that having been now discarded will almost certainly result in a brighter, more rewarding and more fulfilling future for generations who can and will stand on their own two feet and even reach a potential never thought possible until recently.

jimmymac
55656
Points
jimmymac 05/14/14 - 05:20 pm
0
0
VERDICT
Unpublished

This was a verdict based on common sense. I'd be appalled if someone told me changing the election date would be too difficult for me to comprehend.

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