Press Release: ACLU of Georgia Letter to Clayton County City Council Spurs Mayor Pro Tem to Reconsider Council’s Vote for Police Station as Polling Location
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 16, 2019
Media contact: Ana Maria Rosato
ATLANTA – In response to the ACLU of Georgia letter to the Clayton County City Council urging members to reconsider their decision to move a polling place to a police station, Mayor Pro Tem Alfred Dixon spoke out against the measure. Dixon stated, “I don’t want anyone feeling discouraged from voting on election day, and if voting at a police station has the potential of stopping a single person from voting, we need to explore other options.”
At its meeting on September 10, the City of Jonesboro voted unanimously to move the polling place from the fire museum, currently under renovations, to a police station. The city council’s chambers and many community and civic meetings are at the police station. However, after hearing the community outcry against the move and the potential harm to City of Jonesboro voters, Dixon has stated that he intends to urge his fellow council members to reconsider the police station decision.
“Our democracy requires that voting be open and available to all. Voting at a police station is clearly intimidating and a barrier to the ballot especially for people of color,” said Aklima Khondoker, ACLU of Georgia staff attorney. “We’re glad that they are considering moving the polling location. Otherwise, this has the potential to violate the Voting Rights Act, the federal law designed to protect our sacred, constitutional right to vote.”