Minority district map meanders to find 35 voters

Proposed new voting map would create a majority-minority District 5. Map source/Fayette County legal team.

Commission to challenge new 50.22% district that runs from Tyrone across N. Fayette down into F’ville

The Fayette County Commission is “pursuing an appeal” of a federal judge’s ruling that mandates an overhaul of how members are elected to the county commission and board of education.

Part of that overhaul is a remapping of the county’s voting districts.

The May 21 ruling from U.S. District Judge Timothy C. Batten calls for implementation of a district voting scheme to replace the current at-large method of electing members to the county commission and the board of education. The pre-trial ruling came as the result of a lawsuit filed by the local and national branches of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People along with several Fayette residents.

While the commissioners were tight-lipped about their decision following Thursday’s closed-session meeting, The Citizen has received a copy of the district map proffered by the NAACP. The majority-minority district created by that map stretches from a small part of Fayetteville, encompassing a big chunk of north Fayette County and then a majority of the town of Tyrone.

To include Tyrone, however, the map used a very narrow strip of land to connect the unincorporated north Fayette County. The county has asserted that the NAACP map creates a district that is not sufficiently geographically compact.

The proposed new minority voting district resembles a wide horseshoe with a hook on one side.

The NAACP argues that since 20.1 percent of Fayette County residents are black according to the 2010 Census, that allows them relief under Section 2 of the federal Voting Rights Act so they may create a majority-minority precinct that would guarantee a black person would be the elected candidate. When the Census results are limited to those of voting age, the number dips down to 19.5 percent.

Another key number in this lawsuit is 35, which is the estimated margin of black voters over the 50 percent mark — 50.22 percent, to be exact — in the new majority-minority district proposed by the NAACP.

While that margin may be thin in a district of more than 20,000 people, the fact that the district creates even a slim majority of minority voters is sufficient, Batten said.

The NAACP contends, and the judge agreed, that at-large voting in Fayette County has made it impossible for black residents in the county to “elect a candidate of their choice.”

The current at-large voting process allows all voters to cast ballots on all five seats on the board of education and county commission. District voting, however, would limit voters to selecting only one member to each governing body, based on the geographical district they live in.

Favoring the NAACP, Batten ruled that “under the totality of the circumstances, [African-Americans in Fayette County are] denied meaningful access to the political process on account of race or color.”

Batten’s order also quotes a court case that says if the majority-minority district sought as relief is not “reasonably compact” the Voting Rights Act does not require it to be enacted.

Batten ordered all parties to submit “proposed remedial plans” for the next election cycle by June 25, but an appeal is expected to put a halt to that process.

Judge Batten’s ruling came about in a summary judgment order, which circumvented a potential trial on the matter. In an evidentiary hearing in May 2012, neither of the “experts” who drew maps on behalf of the county or the NAACP testified under oath about how they undertook that process.

The district map prepared by the NAACP may face a challenge because it includes two commission incumbents in the same district: David Barlow and Allen McCarty.

The board of education, named as the other defendant in the lawsuit, is slated to discuss next week whether or not it will join the appeal of the judge’s decision. It is possible that the county’s appeal would halt the adoption of district voting for the school board, as they are listed as co-defendants in the case. Previously, the judge reversed his previous approval of a district voting map hammered out by the NAACP and BoE based on the fact that he had been unaware the county commission had not also approved the map.

The commission has taken some heat from citizens over the spending to defend the lawsuit brought by the NAACP. As of last week, the county had spent more than $283,000 on the matter. The NAACP, which has criticized such spending, has not publicly revealed how much it has spent on the lawsuit even though Fayette taxpayers may be on the hook for those funds as well depending on how the final ruling shakes out.

If the county follows through on the appeal, it will be brought to the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals and if it passes muster, it would almost certainly be considered by a small panel of judges instead of the entire court.

The full map of proposed redrawn voting districts is below.

rmoc
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Proposed Map looks like gerry mandering

Give me a break!!!!

mudcat
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I think PTC get 3 commissioners. I like this map.

It appears that there are 3 districts that contain a part of Peachtree City. That's good. We have only 33% of the population but have 66% of the representation. Plus the chairman is ours as well. The Yankee transplants have outflanked the good old boys - or at least the NAACP did it for us. A silver lining inside every cloud.

Cyclist
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Guaranteed outcome?
John Munford wrote:

The NAACP argues that since 20.1 percent of Fayette County residents are black according to the 2010 Census, that allows them relief under Section 2 of the federal Voting Rights Act so they may create a majority-minority precinct that would guarantee a black person would be the elected candidate.

suggarfoot
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for what it is worth...look at 2nd paragraph

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voting_Rights_Act_of_1965

Section 2[edit]
Final page of the Voting Rights Act, signed by President Johnson, the "President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the HouseSection 2 contains a general prohibition on voting discrimination, enforced through federal district court litigation. Congress amended this section in 1982, prohibiting any voting practice or procedure that has a discriminatory result. The 1982 amendment provided that proof of intentional discrimination is not required. The provision focused instead on whether the electoral processes are equally accessible to minority voters.[12] This section is permanent and does not require renewal.

On March 9, 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Bartlett v. Strickland that the Voting Rights Act does not require governments to draw district lines favorable to minority candidates when the district has minorities as less than half of the population.[13]"

hsh87
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Insane and Highly racial

Guarantee a BLACK person; who gives a crap if they're qualified and will affect every single Fayette County resident, just as long as they're BLACK. No silver lining there. My opinion, if you don't like it here you are FREE to leave, and please do.

S. Lindsey
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Reverse that Cy and what do you get...
KKK wrote:

The KKK argues that since 20.1 percent of Clayton County residents are white according to the 2010 Census, that allows them relief under Section 2 of the federal Voting Rights Act so they may create a majority-minority precinct that would guarantee a white person would be the elected candidate.

I wonder then if that decision would fly... I bet it would... like a lead duck

PTC Observer
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Cyclist - Guaranteed

segregation is known as Bantustan,a system that was very popular under Apartheid in South Africa, a forced segregation by the state.

"The word "bantustan", today, is often used in a pejorative sense when describing a region that lacks any real legitimacy, consists of several unconnected enclaves, and/or emerges from national or international gerrymandering."

I believe this sums up pretty well the outcome of the court's order. We can see what this has done not only to the African American communities in the US, but what it has done for diversity and integration of the races. You only need look at areas that have transitioned into entirely black communities and what this has wrought on its citizens. Forced representation in favor one race over another race is gerrymandered segregation, aka bantustan.

We ignore history at our own peril.

Peter Pfeifer
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What happens if somebody moves?

35 Voters?
This sure is inline with past Democrat drawn districts in Georgia, remember the Cynthia McKinney District that ran from DeKalb to Savannah?
To keep this marginal District in compliance, would the number of ethnic group members have to be frozen? What if more whites moved in? Or, if some Blacks moved out?
Which government agency would be tasked with monitoring this or would it be contracted out to an NGO?

Robert W. Morgan
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Black flight to Clayton County disrupts the NAACP numbers

That razor-thin % the NAACP uses (20.1 or 19.5) to justify a majority-minority district is based upon the 2010 census - 3 years ago! I hope the crackerjack $500/hour attorneys that Brown and Co. hired for the appeal notice that fact. Then they can look at foreclosures and even legitimate sales in that district over 3 years and calculate how many blacks that actually vote have been replaced by whites who vote or blacks that don't. And you don't get to count vacant houses that are bank-owned or those being advertised for rent. Tally that up and that will get the real % lowered well below whatever the real threshold that is being used for this idiotic lawsuit. Anybody on the commission have the cojones to address this issue?

And then for the real deal killer - a huge problem that no one has ever thought of. End of the world kind of stuff.
What happens if they do get to form this new district and a few black people break ranks and actually (gasp) vote for the white candidate? And God forbid, the white candidate wins! What then? Nuclear war? What next? Ban white candidates? What about Hispanic or Asian? Oh my God, how can life go on?

suggarfoot
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You are right Peter

Common sense went out the window on this one. What the NAACP does is sick. They are recreating...Jim Crow...separate but equal.

They want to win no matter how bad they have to twist thing to do so.

S. Lindsey
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suggarfoot it's unequal outcomes and Social Justice..

....at it's worse.

What they are saying is only a Black person can govern a Black person. 70 years of equal rights protest and fights just flew out the window.

They don't want equal justice they want Social Justice.

I guess they endorse the Farrakhan solution... buy an open piece of land and create a New Africa here in the USA, using gang members for their Army and building walls to keep everyone else (white) out.

That is separate but equal. The problem is some want to be more equal then others.

G35 Dude
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SL-How about this?
Quote:

What they are saying is only a Black person can govern a Black person.

Yep, I guess the only real way to address this situation is not to draw districts but to elect based on race. The whites will vote for a white person to fill the white seat. The blacks will do the same as will the Hispanics, and Asians. The last seat can be filled by anyone not meeting the criteria of the other 4 seats. Think that will work?

S. Lindsey
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How about electing the most qualified...

...and forget the color of their skin.

G35 Dude
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SL-Then who would be happy?
Quote:

How about electing the most qualified...

How does that make anybody happy??? LOL (Joking of course)

S. Lindsey
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I know 35...somebody's butt is always going to be chapped..

..that's the nature of our Republic.. These types of rulings try to move us into a Democracy.

A Social Democracy where everyone is promised everything but in reality gets little of what they need.

You know where everything is FAIR and stuff...and cotton candy clouds float overhead and gumdrop rain falls gently down...and Suckers live merrily.

suggarfoot
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you would think

They would look back at S Fulton, DeKalb, and Clayton. Whas is this...? Sooner or later if you give us enough to practice on (butcher), we are bound to get it right?

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