Flint is one of the majority black cities where citizens’ voting rights are violated under the state’s emergency manager law, according to a lawsuit filed by the Detroit Branch of the NAACP against Gov. Rick Snyder and other top state officials. The president of the Flint Branch of the NAACP agrees with the claims. “We do feel like it’s a violation of the Voting Rights Act, we feel it’s a disenfranchisement of the voters,” said President Frances Gilcreast. The law allows the state to appoint emergency managers who have broad powers to override decisions of local elected officials.
The lawsuit claims more than half of Michigan’s African Americans have their voting rights violated because of the law. Lawyers are asking for an injunction to remove emergency managers from Detroit, Flint, Pontiac, Allen Park, Benton Harbor, the Highland Park school district, the Muskegon Heights school district and the Detroit school district.
The suit claims the state is violating the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965, a landmark piece of Civil Rights legislation credited with protecting the right of minorities to vote.