The American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia sued the Fulton County Board of Registration and Elections today for violating state law when it approved a set of polling place closures and changes without giving adequate notice to the public.
Georgia law requires election officials to publish proposed polling place changes for at least 14 consecutive days before approving them. Last week, the Board voted to close or move several polling places in predominantly Black neighborhoods and published the proposed changes just 6 days in advance.
The lawsuit asks the court to require the Board to reconsider the changes after following the public notice requirements in state law.
“Sudden and secretive polling place closures are no way to run a democracy,” said Andrea Young, ACLU of Georgia executive director. “This law exists to protect voters, but the Board went around it – changing the polling places of thousands of Black voters months before a major mayoral election. Election officials across Georgia should consider themselves on notice: if they attempt to confuse voters, skirt the law or restrict access to the polls, we will see them in court.”
“Instead of being open and transparent about these proposed changes, the Board relied on secret maps and kept people in the dark,” said Sean J. Young, ACLU of Georgia legal director. “Voters deserve better. The Board needs to follow the law and reconsider these changes in the light of day.”