Editorial: Activists stand for what's right in Randolph Co. poll closing proposal

Activists stand for what's right in Randolph Co. poll closing proposal

Last week the Randolph County Election Board voted against a controversial proposal to shut down seven of the county's nine voting precincts, all of which are in predominantly African American communities.

While the board's decision only took minutes, the vote raises questions concerning the decades-old issue of discrimination in the south and the matter of minority voter suppression.

Former Randolph County Consultant Mike Malone authored this proposal, claiming the precincts needed to close because they were not accessible to the disabled.

When WALB confronted County Attorney Tommy Coleman, he said the polling places don't comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the county had known for years.

"In 2012, there was an audit of many rural counties, not only Randolph but some others around here where they, the justice department, came in and as you may expect in a place like Randolph County, found a number of the facilities deficient," said Coleman.

So why would the county make this an issue now?

This November, the eyes of the nation will be on the Georgia governor's race, which is expected to be one of the biggest elections this year.

Why would Randolph County wait three months before November to shut down seven precincts that leaders neglected to make ADA compliant six years ago?

The implications of this proposal are clear.

Kudos to the state activists and local citizens who spoke out against this discrimination and did not stay silent.

A battle was won, but not the war.

Thousands fought and hundreds died so that today, everyone would have the right to vote.

It's imperative that everyone exercise that right and push back against those who endlessly try to take it away.

Copyright 2018 WALB. All rights reserved.