The elections consultant who proposed closing most voting locations in a majority African-American rural Georgia county has been fired ahead of a vote Friday on consolidating precincts. The proposal to shutter seven of the county’s nine precincts before the Nov. 6 election appears unlikely to pass, said Randolph County Attorney Tommy Coleman. Coleman fired the consultant, Mike Malone, in a letter dated Wednesday. Malone’s recommendation to close precincts before the election for Georgia governor received widespread opposition from voters and elected officials. Critics of the plan said it would have suppressed turnout in the governor’s race between Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp.
“He’s certainly done more than enough,” Coleman said Thursday. “The county is distressed because of the position they’ve found themselves in.”
Malone said during public meetings last week that precincts should be closed because they’re inaccessible to the disabled, they’re expensive and they serve small numbers of voters. The county’s two largest precincts would have remained open.