Latino group plans to sue Gainesville | GainesvilleTimes.com

10
Jul

Latino group plans to sue Gainesville | GainesvilleTimes.com

The Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials said Tuesday it intends to file a federal lawsuit asserting Gainesville’s at-large voting system violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.

Gainesville City Council has said the system gives good representation to all citizens by allowing all residents to vote for each city representative. The positions of mayor and council seats for wards 1 and 4 are up for election in November.

The Latino group’s board met July 2 and decided to move forward with a lawsuit. GALEO Executive Director Jerry Gonzalez said the case would be significant, especially in light of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on Section 4 and the impact on Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.

“This is going to be a historic case in the Southeast of the U.S. given what happened in the Supreme Court with the Voting Rights Act,” Gonzalez said. “These types of cases are going to become much more prevalent with minority communities looking at election changes that potentially discriminate, diminish the minority community’s ability to exercise their right to vote and influence the outcome of elections.”

That decision effectively put an end to the advance approval requirement that has been used to open polling places to minority voters in the nearly half-century since it was first enacted in 1965, unless Congress can come up with a new formula that meets “current conditions” in the U.S.

via Latino group plans to sue Gainesville.

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