Georgia officials consider potential impact of court ruling on voting rights | Online Athens

27
Jun

Georgia officials consider potential impact of court ruling on voting rights | Online Athens

Tuesday’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court to throw out a portion of the Voting Rights Act will impact states like Georgia that prevouisly had to get federal approval for any election changes.

But experts disagree on the potential size and nature of that impact.

In Athens-Clarke County, it could mean less time before a new voting district map is approved, Manager Alan Reddish said. But Reddish said Tuesday afternoon he hadn’t yet read the decision and couldn’t speak with certainty.

Redistricting in 2012 brought the precinct map out of compliance with an Athens-Clarke County ordinance, necessitating the update, according to a presentation given by Supervisor of Elections and Voter Registration Gail Schrader earlier this month. She told local election officials that she expected several weeks for the U.S. Department of Justice to evaluate the plan, which includes fewer Election Day polling places but more opportunities for early voting.

“We will continue our process to get input from the public,” Reddish said.

At a state level, Democrats say the requirement for federal preclearance before any changes to election law prevented Republicans from weakening minority voting power during the 2011 redistricting. They predict sweeping new legislation to make it more difficult for blacks, Hispanics and Asians to elect candidates of their choice.

“To a degree, the Georgia Legislature may feel like they can run roughshod over individuals,” said Steve Golden, president of the Young Democrats of Georgia.

via Georgia officials consider potential impact of court ruling on voting rights | Online Athens.

Comments ( 0 )