Election postponed over discrimination claims - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Election postponed over discrimination claims

August 8, 2002

"Oh what do you got to go and do that for," one Randolph County voters reaction to the news there will be no August 20th elections for County or school board positions.

"That's giving some of us not the chance to vote for who we want to vote for," another voter said.

But one of the men who filed the lawsuit that led to the elections being postponed, says that's exactly what he was trying to prevent when he saw the new district lines for Randolph County forced him and Henry Hogan from their seats into districts not up for election this term.

"Would deny blacks in community from voting for the candidate of their choice."

Current commissioner, Charles Evans Simmons doesn't see it that way.

"It's an attempt to introduce mayhem into political process of Randolph County," he told the crowd. "It's not a racial dispute, dispute over power and money in Randolph County."

The map passed unanimously in both the senate and house. Now the justice department says it could be racially motivated, and they'll need more information to make a decision. They want to postpone the election until then.

 "We've got the biggest mess here in the history of Randolph County."

 "sorry for seeing ignorance like yours," Commissioner Henry Hogan told Simmons.

The Civil Rights Division says Attorney General John Ashcroft has 60 days to make a ruling on the case. However he can petition for longer if state and county leaders are slow-going in providing him with the information he needs.

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