The Supreme Court decision striking down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act could scramble Fulton County politics, giving conservative white residents in the county’s northern end a greater say in local affairs.
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The Voting Rights Act and Fulton County
Until Tuesday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision, the Voting Rights Act had required federal preapproval of election changes in Georgia and other states with a history of racial discrimination. The Department of Justice has objected eight times to voting changes in Fulton County. A look at those objections:
Nov. 27, 1972: The city of Atlanta asks to realign ward and precinct boundaries. The Justice Department objects, saying some of the proposed precinct changes, combined with the location of polling places, may impair the voting rights of black residents.
May 22, 1974: The General Assembly increases the Fulton County Commission from three to seven members and changes various qualifications and procedures for candidates to qualify. The Justice Department objects to the creation of numbered posts and majority-vote requirements for the three at-large positions that were a holdover from the old commission. The objection is later withdrawn.
April 27, 1977: The Justice Department objects to the combination of numbered and at-large elections for the Palmetto City Council.
July 7, 1977: The Justice Department objects to a proposed majority-vote requirement for Palmetto City Council and mayoral elections.
Dec.9, 1977: The department objects to a proposed redistricting plan and proposed annexations in College Park. The objection to the annexations is later withdrawn.
Dec. 12, 1983: The department objects to a proposed College Park redistricting plan.
Oct. 23, 1992: The department objects to a proposed annexation by Union City. The objection is later withdrawn.
Jan. 24, 1995: The department objects to plans to add a new State Court judge because judges in Georgia are elected by at-large elections with designated posts and a majority-vote requirement. The objection is later withdrawn.
Now that the Supreme Court has struck down key sections of the Voting Rights Act, we examine how the ruling may play out on county commissions, city councils and school boards across Georgia.