Mayor candidate wants city elections to go on - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Mayor candidate wants city elections to go on

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October 6, 2003

Albany - An Albany mayoral candidate takes legal action to block an election postponement. Candidate, Dr. Willie Adams, says, "We filed a motion to intervene in this lawsuit." The city and American Civil Liberties Union leaders already agreed to postpone elections until March while they change district lines.

Adams says the out of date district lines won't affect the mayor's election because all city voters are eligible to cast ballots in that race. He explains, "Our objection is the office of mayor is city wide and should not have been stopped."

On the other hand, those already involved in the lawsuit are worried it will confuse voters to have two elections four months apart.

On Monday, a federal judge decided to hold off a decision until evidence is presented.

ACLU recently filed a lawsuit against the city. ACLU Southern Regional Office Director, Laughlin McDonald says, "We filed a lawsuit charging the city commission is malaportion in violation of one person and one vote and theirs no question about that." They say district lines are out of date.

The city agreed with ACLU to postpone elections until the Spring, but Adams wants to continue the mayor race. He says, "I'm ready for November the 4th".

The city and ACLU didn't oppose Adams intervening in the lawsuit, but were worried about cost and confusion. McDonald says, "If the mayor's election goes forward then the city has to pay for two elections, it might have an adverse impact on turnout and voter confusion. Those are the things the court would take into account."

McDonald adds current district lines reduce the number of minority districts. The last map was redrawn under the 1990 census.

Federal Court Judge Louis Sands is giving all parties a chance to do additional research to present more evidence. The next hearing is Thursday afternoon at three.

posted at 5:55PM by kathryn.simmons@walb.com