Judge denies voting appeal

A federal judge has denied a request to appeal his May 21 ruling to enact district voting for both the Fayette County Commission and the Fayette County Board of Education.

Attorneys representing the county had sought to appeal the matter to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals prior to final conclusion of the case. Their argument, however, did not pass muster with U.S. District Judge Timothy C. Batten, Sr.

Although Batten has ruled that Fayette’s at-large voting practice has been discriminatory toward black voters in the county and must be replaced by district voting, he has not yet declared which district map he will order to be used in the next elections.

Also pending is a request from the plaintiffs, including both the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and several black residents, to hold a special election this November that would result in the potential ouster of at least one member each on the current board of education and county commission: those representatives who reside in what is being called “the fifth district.”

Batten has ruled that the discriminatory nature of the at-large voting process is such that black voters in the county qualify to have a special geographical district drawn to create a majority of voters whom are minorities to virtually guarantee that a black candidate is elected from that district.

The county’s current at-large method of electing county commissioners and board of education members allows all county residents to cast ballots for each of the five seats on both governing bodies. District voting, however, would limit residents to casting just one ballot for both governing bodies, depending solely on which geographical district they reside in.

District voting also stands to have a negative impact on all citizens’ ability to either start or sign a petition to recall any member of the county commission or board of education. Under district voting, such actions are allowed only if the elector resides in that geographic district, according to Georgia law.

In a 19-page order denying the county’s request for an “in progress” appeal of his May 21 ruling, Batten notes that the county has not proven that “partisan affiliation, not race, best explains the divergent voting patterns among minority and white citizens.”

The judge also finds fault with the county’s reasoning that an in-progress appeal would significantly advance resolution in the case.

In his May 21 order to enact district voting in Fayette County, Batten said the two main factors supporting the plaintiffs’ case were the lack of a black person being elected to the county commission or board of education, along with a record of racially polarized voting.

Judge Batten further outlines how simple requirements in the county’s voting system can be considered factors that discriminate against black voters when combined with an at-large voting system, such as: the staggering of terms, residency requirements for districts, the use of numbered posts and the requirement that each candidate gain a majority vote, not a plurality.

The judge also notes that the county is correct in asserting that the plaintiffs in the case have not claimed any specific instances in which they have been discriminated against.

SPQR
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some clarification maybe?

Does this mean the appeal is completely kaput? Can Judge Batten prevent his ruling from being overturned by refusing an appeal? What are the county's next steps?

Robert W. Morgan
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Somebody needs to have a strategy meeting

Look at this --
"Also pending is a request from the plaintiffs, including both the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and several black residents, to hold a special election this November that would result in the potential ouster of at least one member each on the current board of education and county commission: those representatives who reside in what is being called “the fifth district.”

They want a special election (means low turnout) that will have 2 incumbent commissioners (McCarty and Barlow) running against each other and presumably one strong black candidate. If anybody thinks that is a recipe for guaranteeing that we get a black commissioner (their stated goal) - there is a real flaw in their planning abilities. To believe that is to believe blacks will turn out in greater numbers than whites and that all blacks will vote for skin color. Come on people, think things through. Use some logic.

The real winner in that race is between Barlow and McCarty and the determining factor will be which one can get the most black votes. Factor in the possibility that 2 or more black candidates emerge and it gets real unrealistic for a black candidate to win.

I doubt the judge will approve the special election, but if he does, the NAACP is going to be sorry it asked for it. Of course that could just give them a reason for another lawsuit. BTW, who is the lawyer pushing this? Is he or she local?

Husband and Fat...
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RWM

What I would like to know is who the NAACP has prepared or is preparing to enter the potential race and is this person behind the suit.

It would be interesting to see McCarty and Barlow go head to head. We would at least see some individuality come out instead of all 4 agreeing with Brown. McCarty certainly has more experience and a larger war chest.

Robert W. Morgan
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Probably Emory Wilkerson

or maybe Dawn Oparah. Both fine people. I don't think the NAACP cares too much about the actual political race or the candidates - they just want to weaken the electoral process and move on to their next windmill. Racist old fools.

AtHomeGym
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Morgan & Wilkerson

You mean that guy who's willing to hang either a 'D' or 'R'behindhis name if he thinks it enhances his chance to win?

Robert W. Morgan
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Yes, that Emory.

I was simply answering Husband and Fat's question about who the NAACP might have prepped.
I was certainly not endorsing either Emory or Dawn, nor would I vote for them either -Wait, I can't. NAACP says I don't have a right to vote for people in other districts. Geeez.

Party switching did not work for Terri Smith, although many Dixiecrats were able to pull that off and live on in their new skin. Go figure.

wildcat
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Emory Wilkerson

I don't know what party he was affiliated with in the late 90s/early 2000s, but I voted for him simply because I adored his daughter. She was on my middle school team and she was a joy. Anyone that raises a child that is smart, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, truthful (yes, the Boy Scout stuff) is A-ok in my book. I didn't really care what party he was with or where he stood on issues. His parenting skills were akin to mine and that was enough for me. I think her name was Lauren and I'm sure she has done wonderful things with her life.

AtHomeGym
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Wildkitty & Wilkerson

Unless you personally knew both the Father & Mother of Lauren, you don't really know who had the primary influence on her. Regardless, in my opinion, your decision tree is missing a few limbs!

Robert W. Morgan
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Better reason to vote for him than the NAACP's reason

Your reason addresses character and family values and I too would be inclined to vote for someone like that.

On the other hand, the NAACP not only ignores the issues when selecting a candidate they also ignore character and family values and pretty much anything else that gives us a clue as to what type of leader a particular person may be. The NAACP ignores all that stuff - their sole criteria is the color of someone's skin.

Isn't that shameful?

Davids mom
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Morgan
Quote:

On the other hand, the NAACP not only ignores the issues when selecting a candidate they also ignore character and family values and pretty much anything else that gives us a clue as to what type of leader a particular person may be. The NAACP ignores all that stuff - their sole criteria is the color of someone's skin

What candidates have the NAACP supported? Thanks.

Robert W. Morgan
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All future black candidates - no others need apply

And that is my point. The lawsuit set forth a strong need to "Guarantee that a black commissioner be elected". Their words not mine. How can you interpret that any other way?

So, since we were speaking of the NAACP, here's a quote- read it and tell me all is cool.

"Trayvon Martin's death, he said, was 'nothing more than a modern day lynching. George Zimmerman became the judge, jury and executioner.'

Great. No inflammatory rhetoric there.

OLDNCR
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RWM

Isn't it funny how when the courts find a certain way (district voting) certain people like to brag about how great the system is and respond to complaints with something like "The courts have decided!". But let the courts go another way (Zimmerman verdict) and the system is broken, racist, and in need of repair???? LOL

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