Dougherty Co. elections board rejects voter eligibility challenge

Dougherty Co. elections board rejects voter eligibility challenge

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - The Albany Dougherty County Board of Registration and Elections held a called meeting about 1 p.m. Monday afternoon.

An Albany city commissioner and a resident challenged the eligibility of 3,000 voters.

The board met to determine if probable cause existed for those challenges.

The board heard Dougherty County Attorney Spencer Lee go through numerous slides of a presentation explaining the law and outlining the parameters of what domicile means, and the reasons that a person may reside elsewhere, but still, maintain a domicile in Dougherty County.

“The motion is that we, as a board, reject the two lists that were presented on the grounds that there is no probable cause,” said Fredrick Williams, the board’s chairman.

Georgia code allows one resident to challenge the voting eligibility of another resident.

Albany City Commissioner BJ Fletcher and Stephen Brimberry used the National Change of Address Database to make the list.
Albany City Commissioner BJ Fletcher and Stephen Brimberry used the National Change of Address Database to make the list. (Source: WALB)

That’s what Stephen Brimberry and City of Albany Commissioner BJ Fletcher did to about 3,000 voters registered in Dougherty County.

“There was some fraudulent activity in this community in the November election. I have an affidavit where I turned over that my mother voted, and my mother died in 2019. So, there is fraudulent activity, and that’s really the names that we came up with. I respect the board’s decision,” said Fletcher.

Fletcher and Brimberry made their list of 3,000 people using a database, known as the National Change of Address Database (NCOA).

“The NCOA database is a database maintained by the United States Postal Service, which includes records constituting of the names and addresses of individuals who have filed a change of address by the postal service. The challenges allege that because the challenged voters’ names appear in the database, that they are no longer residents of Dougherty County, and therefore, are no longer eligible to vote in the Jan. 5 election,” said Lee.

But Amna Farooqi, with the Election Protection Coalition and Black Voters Matter, said a temporary change in address doesn’t necessarily mean that person is no longer a resident of Dougherty County.

“We have also seen the names on that list. Military or ASU students are people that have not necessarily permanently moved from Albany and would have been disenfranchised if this challenge had gone through. Yes, the postal office registry is a legit database, but that doesn’t mean that every person on that list has permanently moved. And the postal service will tell you that. People change their addresses temporarily all the time,” said Amna.

After Lee’s 20-minute presentation, the chairman called a vote as to whether or not the board would accept the challenges, and the body voted it down, 3-1.

The chairman then adjourned the meeting.

WATCH THE FULL MEETING BELOW:

Special Called Board of Elections Meeting

Special Called Board of Elections Meeting - 12-28-2020

Posted by Dougherty County Georgia Government on Monday, December 28, 2020

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