Fulton County Elections

The ACLU is suing the Fulton County Board of Registration and Elections for voting on changes to polling places in predominantly African American communities after providing insufficient notice to the public of its intentions.

This is one consequence of something I pointed out in previous posts. The Georgia legislature in 2013 approved changes to several aspects of Fulton County government. They approved changes to the apportionment of the Board of Commissioners, converting an at-large seat to a districted seat in north Fulton, increasing the power of affluent Republican suburbanites. They hamstrung the county’s ability to raise property taxes. And they shifted the power to staff the Board of Elections from the Board of Commissioners (controlled by Democrats) to the state legislature (controlled by Republicans). These changes were enabled by gerrymandering state legislative districts so that parts of the north Fulton suburbs were joined with parts of other conservative-leaning counties. Accordingly, a county that voted for Barack Obama by approximately 2-1 over Mitt Romney has a legislative delegation with Republican majorities in both houses.

I wrote at the time that this might prove to be the most consequential of these moves. As the metro Atlanta area becomes the decisive battleground in the state, conservatives will face certain temptation to make it more difficult for Democratic constituencies to vote.