CUTHBERT — A contentious proposal to close most voting locations in a rural, mostly African-American county in southwest Georgia met a swift and resounding defeat Friday following overwhelming opposition to reducing voting access in an election year.
|Voting rights advocates including Helen Butler with the Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda speak to members of the press outside the Randolph County Government Center after the county’s Board of Elections defeated a proposal to close seven rural voting locations on Friday. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM|
The proposal received widespread criticism because it could have reduced turnout in a majority-black county, where some voters without a car would have had to walk 10 miles to reach a remaining polling place.
|Randolph County Board of Elections members Michele Graham and Scott Peavy vote “No” to a proposal to close seven rural voting locations during a meeting Friday at the Randolph County Government Center in Cuthbert. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM|
The precinct consolidation proposal came from Mike Malone, an elections consultant who donated $250 to Kemp’s campaign July 2. The Secretary of State’s Office provided Malone’s name, along with two others, to the Elections Board when it needed to hire a certified elections official on short notice before the May primary election.
Staff writer Greg Bluestein contributed to this article.