Press Advisory ACLU of Georgia Again Urges the Quitman County Board of Registrars to Table the Proposal to Close Half of the County’s Polling Locations

MEDIA CONTACT

Ana Maria Rosato, ACLU of Georgia, media@acluga.org

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ACLU of Georgia Legal Director available for post-hearing interviews

Rahul Garabadu, ACLU of Georgia Voting Rights Staff Attorney, to testify

Contact: Ana Maria Rosato, media@acluga.org

ATLANTA – The Quitman County Board of Registrars will meet Thursday, May 13, 2021, to review the objections filed at “[t]he hearing held on 5/6/2021 concerning the closure of the Morris precinct.” See image below for a copy of the notice published in the Eufaula Tribune in Eufaula, Alabama.

Rahul Garabadu, ACLU of Georgia Voting Rights Staff Attorney, will testify. The meeting will be livestreamed on the ACLU of Georgia Facebook page.

Quote
We again urge the Quitman County Board of Registrars to table this proposal to close the Morris polling location,” said Rahul Garabadu, ACLU of Georgia Voting Rights Staff Attorney.    

Who
Rahul Garabadu, ACLU of Georgia Voting Rights Staff Attorney

What
Quitman County Board of Registrars meeting

The meeting will be lived streamed on ACLU of Georgia’s Facebook page.

Where
Quitman County Probate Court 
115 Main Street 
Georgetown, GA 39854

When
Thursday, May 13, 2021, at 5:00 p.m.

ACLU of Georgia’s position
Quitman County Board of Registrars’ proposal to close Morris polling location is wrong for three reasons.

  1. Shutting down the precinct would burden Morris residents who don’t have access to a car. Citizens who want to vote in person would face an unacceptable choice: walk four hours to vote or don’t vote at all.
  1. Accessibility concerns that the Board has raised regarding Morris precinct can easily be fixed without shutting down the precinct. 
  2. The Board’s concerns about its ability to pay three poll workers can also be addressed easily. The ACLU of Georgia stands ready to assist the County in finding three volunteers to serve as poll workers on Election Day, including from neighboring Randolph County, where the ACLU of Georgia has built relationships.

    At its meeting on Thursday, May 6, 2021, the Quitman County Board of Registrars postponed deciding on whether to close the Morris polling location.

Background
On April 27, 2021, the ACLU of Georgia sent a letter to the Quitman County Board of Registrars warning that its proposal to close half of its polling places will likely harm Black voters potentially violating Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and the U.S. Constitution.

Eliminating a polling location that serves the eastern half of the county will prevent rural voters living around Morris without transportation from voting in-person on Election Day. Morris is approximately 13 miles away from Georgetown, where the last remaining polling location in the county would be located. It would take over four hours to walk from Morris to Georgetown. Because Quitman County has little to no public transportation options, a voter who wants to vote in person but does not have a car would face significant, and potentially insurmountable, hurdles to exercising their right to vote.

These transportation burdens would also fall more heavily on Black voters. A plurality of Quitman County residents, who are disproportionately Black, have either no car or only one car per household.

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