Media Contact: media@acluga.org

Cuthbert, Georgia – At its meeting held this morning, the Randolph County Board of Elections and Registration voted to reject the contractor-recommended proposal to close 75% of the precincts in majority African-American communities. Last week, the ACLU of Georgia sent a letter to the Randolph County Board of Elections & Registration demanding it reject the proposal because it is discriminatory, unjustifiable, and violates the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

“Today, Randolph voters successfully stood up for democracy and refused to let themselves be bullied by an outside consultant intent on shutting down their polling places.  We thank County Board of Elections and Registration and the county commissioners for listening to their constituents,” stated Andrea Young, Executive Director of the ACLU of Georgia. “We will continue to monitor the situation and remain committed to stay engaged with the Randolph community to protect their sacred, constitutional right to vote.”  
 
“Reinstating the preclearance provision of the Voting Rights Act is necessary to protect voters from attempts to undermine access to the ballot,” Young said. 
 
The Randolph County situation demonstrates clearly the need to reinstate the pre-clearance provision of the Voting Rights Act. The preclearance provision had required historically-discriminatory states such as Georgia to obtain preapproval from a U.S. court or the U.S. Department of Justice before enacting any election changes to ensure that proposed changes would not discriminate against protected minorities.
 
However, in its 2013  Shelby v Holder decision, the majority of judges on the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the preclearance provision of the Voting Rights Act and stated that the provision was based on an outdated formula.