Dougherty Co. Board of Elections hears complaints about early voting, election supervisor

Dougherty Co. Board of Elections hears complaints about early voting, election supervisor

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Doughtery County Board of Election (BOE) officials are looking over complaints filed against Elections Supervisor Ginger Nickerson.

Leaders with the Election Protection Coalition filed complaints against Nickerson to BOE Chairman Bishop Williams for several counts, including calling the sheriff’s office on the nonprofit group, Black Voters Matter, without investigating complaints.

Chairman Bishop Williams
Chairman Bishop Williams (Source: WALB)

BOE members heard from a dozen speakers Wednesday afternoon who came from across Georgia, including Atlanta and Columbus.

Those speakers supported people affiliated with Black Voters Matter and their claims of racially charged conflicts against the group during early voting. They also claimed more could have been done to cut down wait times at the polls.

“In 2020, when we have all these resources at our disposal, we should have done better,” said Demetrius Young with the Election Protection Coalition.

"Regardless of whether or not they were voting, regardless of their race or ethnicity, we wanted to provide support to people so they could cast their ballot safely in this pandemic,” said Anna Farooqi with the Election Protection Coalition, who filed the complaint.

“We’re not living in Jim Crow laws no more and we’re not living in the good ol' boy system,” said Diana Brown, with Black Voters Matter.

“Black Voters Matter, that’s what it says. When they’re wearing shirts, when they have their van near the polling site, that’s all it says,” said April Albright with Black Voters Matter.

Christopher Bruce is with the ACLU of Georgia and spoke at the meeting.

“We take it very seriously when the community comes out and says, ‘Hey, there’s a problem that’s happening,’” said Bruce.

Officials said this is the first time they’ve heard some of these complaints.

Williams urges the community to call him and board members to keep them in the loop if there is ever an issue.

“Your complaints, your statements, will not be going to fall on deaf ears,” said Williams.

Williams said the board will respond to the complaints in a week.

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