Dougherty Co. leaders get involved after complaints arise regarding Black Voters Matter group

Dougherty county leaders get involved after complaints rise regarding “Black Voters Matter” group

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Dougherty County leaders are getting involved after complaints were made about the Albany Black Voters Matter chapter being near voting polls downtown.

“The Georgia statute is very specific, it restricts campaigning activities and public opinion polling. It prevents or prohibits distributing or displaying any campaign literature, it prevents conducting any exit polls or public opinion polls with voters, and it also prevents soliciting signatures for any petition within 150 feet of a polling place. There is no question that the activities that the Black Voters Matter were involved in did not involve any of these actions,” said Nyota Tucker, a legal representative for the Black Voters Matter group.

Tucker argues that since Black Voters Matter is not a politically affiliated group, they should be allowed within 150 feet of the Candy Room, where early voting in Dougherty county is being held.

In a Facebook video that was posted after Monday’s meeting, County Administrator Michael McCoy could be heard telling the group that they should not go within 150 feet of the building or the sheriff’s office could get involved.

County Administrator Michael McCoy could be heard telling the group that they should not go within 150 feet of the building or the sheriff’s office could get involved.
County Administrator Michael McCoy could be heard telling the group that they should not go within 150 feet of the building or the sheriff’s office could get involved. (Source: Dougherty County Government)

“Somebody said, I think it was you Amna, that I gave y’all permission to go beyond the 150-foot boundary. That is absolutely not true. That is not true and please do not misrepresent me, OK? And I want everyone to know, if you violate the boundaries, if you violate the rules, then I have asked (or I will be asking) the sheriff, (I have already asked the chief deputy) to take action," said McCoy.

To address the situation and the laws in question, the Dougherty County Elections Board plans to hold a special called meeting on Wednesday.

“So what we will be committed to as a board is reviewing all that has been done and when we meet on Wednesday, we should have the laws or the rules as it relates to the board of elections. And we could make a formal statement then," said Frederick Williams, the chairman of the elections board.

The election board meeting on Wednesday will start at 4 p.m.

Anyone who would like to address the election board will be given time to speak at that meeting.

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