In a victory for voting rights today, three polling locations serving thousands of Black voters will remain open following a lawsuit and grassroots campaign led by the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia and its partners. The Fulton County Board of Registration and Elections, which had initially voted to close the polling locations just months before important municipal elections, today voted to keep them open.
“This is a victory for the people of Atlanta and everyone who supports free and fair elections,” said Andrea Young, ACLU of Georgia executive director, who testified at today’s Board of Elections meeting. “We thank the New Georgia Project, the Georgia NAACP, the Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, neighborhood leaders and everyone who spoke out and took action against these harmful polling place closures that would have made it harder for thousands of Black voters to vote. I also want to thank the Board of Elections for listening to these community voices. This was democracy in action.”
Last month, the ACLU of Georgia sued the Board for violating state law when it approved a set of polling place closures and changes in predominantly Black neighborhoods without giving adequate notice to the public. In response, the Board agreed to reconsider the changes and provide the public with adequate notice and an opportunity for input.
“This victory means thousands of Black registered voters will be able to go to their polling place and cast a ballot in this year’s important mayoral election – without the confusion and disruption that the closures would have caused,” Young continued. “The right to vote is fundamental, and we will continue to fight modern-day voter suppression whenever and wherever it occurs.”
With the help of People Power, a grassroots organizing program launched earlier this year by the ACLU, ACLU of Georgia and its allies launched a rapid-response, grassroots campaign to educate impacted voters about these changes and encourage them to make their voices heard.