Bill not about local races

  • Follow Letters

Facts are important, but facts were not in evidence in the Augusta Chronicle editorial chastising the American Civil Liberties Union suit and the three Democratic representatives who signed it (No rights denied,” April 25). The suit requested an injunction to prevent nonpartisan elections May 20.

The editorial was wrong by stating that state Reps. Wayne Howard, Gloria Frazier and Earnest Smith already had voted to have the election May 20 when House Bill 310 passed unanimously in this year’s legislative session. The glaring error is that House Bill 310 was a response to a federal mandate to move primaries for federal candidates to May 20, to give appropriate time for the military to vote on runoffs.

House Bill 310 also, for reasonable reasons, moved primaries for statewide candidates to May 20. House Bill 310 did not include municipal elections, and therefore the representatives could not have voted for nonpartisan elections to be held May 20, as the editorial so glibly stated.

Consolidated governments such as Augusta’s are given the authority to act either as counties or cities (municipalities) for elections. Augusta-Richmond County consistently has chosen to be a municipality for purposes of elections, and has set elections for members of its government in November to conform to federal and state elections. Despite this, the attorney general of Georgia, along with the secretary of state – based on previous legislation urged by the Republican Legislature and introduced by Republican Barbara Sims – moved the nonpartisan elections to May 20. I believe this was a blatant attempt to suppress minority voting.

The Democratic representatives filed an objection with the attorney general of the United States and, after consideration, the attorney general ruled that the change from November to May could not take place. Under a U.S. Supreme Court decision, the right of the Justice Department for preclearance was abolished. However, although the objection cannot be implemented by the Justice Department, the objection still is valid. The ACLU suit was filed with this argument.

The Executive Committee of the Richmond County Democratic Party concurs with the ACLU suit and the Democratic representatives who signed it. The suit is in keeping with more voters going to the polls, thus preventing voter suppression.

Facts are important.

(The writer is chairman of the Richmond County Democratic Party.)

Comments (28) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Butterman
3458
Points
Butterman 05/03/14 - 12:30 am
4
4
Greenbaum is right

this time. I have a feeling Augusta is going to lose this lawsuit.

Riverman1
79766
Points
Riverman1 05/03/14 - 05:58 am
6
2
May-November Relationship

Yep, I hate to agree with Greenbaum, too. The reality is Richmond County is a predominantly black county with mostly black officials. If the majority of the citizens of the county and their officials want a November vote it would seem that's when it should be held.

deestafford
24047
Points
deestafford 05/03/14 - 08:15 am
9
3
Why is it that anytime there is a change...

Why is it that anytime there is a change the Democrats think the blacks are too stupid or lazy to respond to that change?

It's as if the blacks are like robotic small children who once they become accustomed to doing something a certain way they are incapable of thinking for themselves and adjusting.

To me that's bigotry to have such a paternalistic attitude toward a group of people.

Bizkit
29361
Points
Bizkit 05/03/14 - 08:48 am
7
3
Greeenbaum states he believes

Greeenbaum states he believes the change of the date is blatant attempt to suppress minority vote but doesn't say how or why? Explain logically why changing the date will suppress specifically minorities-what about by gender or age? Wow I can't believe they are trying suppress whites, hispanics, and asians voting rights. Because blacks are the majority and I guess this change will benefit the black voting block and suppress minorities like white, native americans, hispanics and asians.
August is 54.7% Black or African American, 39.1% White, 0.3% Native American, 1.7% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 1.3% some other race, and 2.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.1% of the population. I am glad and the ACLU are doing all they can to make sure the majority of blacks don't suppress minorities.

Bizkit
29361
Points
Bizkit 05/03/14 - 08:52 am
7
2
Greenbaum states the city has

Greenbaum states the city has the right to set the voting date-what law was broken? Augusta-Richmond County consistently has chosen to be a municipality for purposes of elections, and has set elections for members of its government in November to conform to federal and state elections. Which now the federal election are in May so they set them to conform to federal and state elections?

Bizkit
29361
Points
Bizkit 05/03/14 - 08:58 am
6
3
So I guess the minorities

So I guess the minorities will make it to the November local elections if the lawsuit succeeds and then miss the May federal elections-because moving the elections to May will suppress voting is their logic.

edcushman
7930
Points
edcushman 05/03/14 - 09:09 am
8
3
"Greeenbaum states he
Unpublished

"Greeenbaum states he believes the change of the date is blatant attempt to suppress minority vote but doesn't say how or why?"
Bizkit, it is simple Greenbaum and the democrats believe blacks are too stupid to be able to change. This has been going on for years. Blacks cannot keep up in schools so the demos lower the standards. Black cannot compete for jobs so how about affirmative action.

Bizkit
29361
Points
Bizkit 05/03/14 - 09:19 am
8
2
It seems a political ploy to

It seems a political ploy to paint Rep as racist and trying to suppress the black vote. But there is absolutely no logic or explanation of how or why it would suppress any voter as well as a specific group. Why would changing the date suppress "minorities" and which minority-is it just blacks he is worried about or hispanics and asians and other minorities. Are Dems saying the black community is "special" or "lacking in intelligence" or they are not a part of mainstream America that they would know when to vote. I mean with all the local politickin' you'd have to be deaf, dumb, and blind.

Bizkit
29361
Points
Bizkit 05/03/14 - 09:55 am
7
2
The AC is right this is a

The AC is right this is a frivolous lawsuit and Greenbaum's own letter explains why. Local elections are set to coincide with federal and state elections as stated by Greenbaum-they had already legally changed the date to May because a district court ruled they had to for military votes to be assessed. Seems Greenbaum should be arguing if they don't change the local to May then they wouldn't coincide and suppress voting. Changing the local to May to coincide with federal and state is exactly what Greenbaum states should happen. Sheesh. Did he read what he wrote?

Pond Life
17509
Points
Pond Life 05/03/14 - 10:48 am
7
2
I wish someone, anyone, would

I wish someone, anyone, would explain how changing the date affects any one race more than another.

Butterman
3458
Points
Butterman 05/03/14 - 11:10 am
4
2
Unfair advantage

It is not so much about disenfranchising certain voters. It has been proven that all demographic groups show up in much smaller numbers for summer primaries than for General elections. Lower turnout always favors incumbents or establishment candidates. These local races were moved up to May from November with little more than a few months notice. This likely kept many candidates from getting in the race because of the shortened cycle. It takes time to raise money and campaign. However, it favors estblishment candidates like Hardie davis, who already had a campaign war chest of over $60,000 from being a State Senator. No other mayoral candidate had this kind of money advantage, and the shortened cycle makes it very difficult for others to catch up. Also, it is confusing to voters who identify as independent to vote in a partisan primary for non-partisan local races. Sure you can pick up a non partisan ballot.. but these primaries have historically been for picking the parties nominees for races in the fall. So this allows for tinkering by the 2 major political parties in the local non-partisan races. These nonpartisan races should never have been moved from November to May in the first place. Let's be clear, this was a blatant attempt to give the establishment backed candidates a major advantage.

Butterman
3458
Points
Butterman 05/03/14 - 11:07 am
3
1
SPLOST

But what I would like to also see is all SPLOSTs and referenda must be on November general election ballots and not on these low turnout primary ballots

Bizkit
29361
Points
Bizkit 05/03/14 - 11:28 am
2
2
That isn't what the lawsuit

That isn't what the lawsuit by the ACLU is about-it is about disenfranchising minority voters-as Greenbaum put it and state was his belief too. The bill moved the state election and a federal circuit judge had already forced the change from Nov to May for the military so the Bill was to keep in line with federal elections, and apparently the local change was was to coincide with both-as Greenbaum states they should because they always did in Nov. Obviously Greenbaum and the ACLU have read that idiots Hermstein's "The Bell Curve" that implies hispanics and blacks are less intelligent. I can tell you with impunity that is ridiculous. But obviously the ACLU and Richmond Dems believe minorities are too stupid to figure it all out. Further Greenbaum said the local elections should coincide with the federal and state which were in Nov and now May. I think minorities should be insulted because the ACLU and Richmond Dem party and picking them out specifically-and as Butterman points out it can't discriminate against any specific group. "Local elections are to be treated as county elections, not city, and will be held at the time of the state primary election in even number years."

"The lawsuit references the Department of Justice objection to the change in Augusta’s election date in December.
Registered voters are 50.9 percent black in Augusta. The election date change would have a retrogressive effect, the lawsuit contends, because black voters are 55.4 percent less likely than white voter to turn out in July." So Butterman your argument that this isn't about minorities and specifically blacks is blatantly incorrect. It is all about disenfranchising voters which you correctly assert is not the case and then have to agree this is a frivolous lawsuit.

Bizkit
29361
Points
Bizkit 05/03/14 - 11:33 am
2
2
I think the citizens of

I think the citizens of Richmond county should be insulted that the ACLU and Dems imply that blacks aren't intelligent enough to figure this out. We as citizens need to join together and bring a case against the ACLU and the Richmond Dem Party for discrimination against blacks as they believe they aren't intelligent and informed enough to figure out a change in voting dates. And as Butterman points out this doesn't disenfranchise voters-just gives incumbents an edge.

RMSHEFF
14166
Points
RMSHEFF 05/03/14 - 11:51 am
2
1
Bizkit

I follow the work of Charles Murray and find his work to be completely accurate. You can't argue with facts but some try.

t3bledsoe
14223
Points
t3bledsoe 05/03/14 - 12:29 pm
1
2
LTE

This is the sort of IN-FIGHTING that has our country where it is today! If the government is not going to make voting days into holidays, THEN WHAT THE ______ DIFFERENCE is it going to make??!! If the troops, all around the world, need time to cast a vote then May 20 IT SHOULD BE!!!!

t3bledsoe
14223
Points
t3bledsoe 05/03/14 - 12:40 pm
2
2
PL @ 10:48

"I wish someone, anyone, would explain how changing the date affects any one race more than another"

PL, I dought there are any scientific stats that proove this belief!! I do agree that the SPLOST referendum should be held in Nov.

t3bledsoe
14223
Points
t3bledsoe 05/03/14 - 12:59 pm
1
1
General comment

I believe that enough interviews with elections board members show that with all of this break-up of voting in almost EVERY calendar year WASTES much tax dollars!! With nothing else to consider, how about for ONCE try to get something done at the least amount of cost to tax payers!! Every 4 years; which happens to co-exist with leap year; should be set aside for presidential, Sen., Rep., AND ALL state and local elections!! In the even numbered years between leap years, have Sen., Rep., state and local elections, AND THE PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARYS ELECTIONS!! Heck, these air-heads start campiagning the day after the general elections anyway!!!! Let's move toward being grown-ups and save some MAJOR tax dollars!

Little Lamb
44025
Points
Little Lamb 05/03/14 - 02:09 pm
4
1
Solution

t3bledsoe is on to something with his election reform proposals. I have something to offer in that regard: Do away with party primary elections. The state should tell the parties, “We will put one candidate from each party (democrat, republican, libertarian) for each office on the November ballot. We don't care how you choose your party nominee. You can hold your own primary election at your expense if you want to. You can hold a convention. You can have an internet election. You can have a straw poll. We don't care.”

That way, there will be no more summertime elections and Lowell Greenbaum will be happy.

Truth Matters
6311
Points
Truth Matters 05/03/14 - 02:32 pm
2
4
"Why is it that anytime there

"Why is it that anytime there is a change the Democrats think the blacks are too stupid or lazy to respond to that change?"

That is not what Democrats think, Dee. Rather those are your thoughts.

fedex227
10776
Points
fedex227 05/03/14 - 03:25 pm
1
4
You have to ask yourself ...

If voter turnout in non-November elections is historically low (I believe voter turnout is almost 50 percent lower for all demographics), why did Barbara Sims find it necessary to introduce legislation to make the change?

edcushman
7930
Points
edcushman 05/03/14 - 03:17 pm
4
2
"That is not what Democrats
Unpublished

"That is not what Democrats think, Dee. Rather those are your thoughts."
TM, nice try but the demos are the ones that are saying blacks cannot vote if there are changes. The demos are the ones that said blacks could not keep up in school so we must lower standards, blacks cannot compete for jobs and have to have special privileges. The demos say blacks cannot get into college so their requirements should be lower than whites. If I was black I would be insulted if you call me a democrat, actually I would be even though I am white.

Pond Life
17509
Points
Pond Life 05/03/14 - 03:35 pm
3
2
"That is not what Democrats

"That is not what Democrats think, Dee. Rather those are your thoughts."

Then why the law suit? What is the problem?

Bizkit
29361
Points
Bizkit 05/03/14 - 03:49 pm
3
1
I bet it is low for every

I bet it is low for every demographic too fedex. That is why I don't understand why the ACLU and Dems are making this racial. All my rhetoric to stir the pot did just that hee,hee. But now I wonder if changing it back will be just as confusing because most people I believe are informed to some degree. It honestly does seem questionable to change as Butterman mentioned which is a good point with incumbent advantage. I mean voters often don't turn out is more the norm-generally about 50-55% of voting age population vote every year since the 70' in presidential elections. So you can imagine a similar trend with State and local elections.

t3bledsoe
14223
Points
t3bledsoe 05/03/14 - 05:37 pm
2
1
LL @ 2:09

Little Lamb, I just have to tell you that I broke out laughing when I read your comment!! I WHOLE-HEARTEDLY agree with your proposed additions to these MUCH NEEDED changes!!

t3bledsoe
14223
Points
t3bledsoe 05/03/14 - 05:41 pm
2
1
PL @ 3:35

I believe this law suit is a bunch of horse who!!

Gage Creed
15813
Points
Gage Creed 05/03/14 - 08:08 pm
3
1
I wonder when the ACLU is

I wonder when the ACLU is going to sue the TSA and Homeland Security... you know how they racially profile by making everyone have a government issued identification prior to travelling... I knew that I was being profiled when I applied for my TWIC... they had the audacity to require me to provide information for a (gasp) background check that included multiple forms of government issued identification. I knew that they were profiling... Where is the ACLU on these issues????

Gage Creed
15813
Points
Gage Creed 05/03/14 - 08:09 pm
3
2
Oh... and once again... we

Oh... and once again... we are Greenbaumed.

Darby
23688
Points
Darby 05/03/14 - 09:09 pm
3
1
A famous Democrat

named Tip O'Neil once said that "All politics is local".

At any rate, I think logic will win out and the election will proceed as scheduled.

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs