Fulton County officials on Monday reversed a decision that would have changed polling locations in several majority African-American precincts, effectively bowing to the wishes of community advocates concerned about voter confusion ahead of municipal elections in November. The decision came after the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia sued the county Board of Registration and Elections claiming it did not give the public enough notice about the changes before it initially voted in mid-July to approve them. “We heard from members of the public that they would be very inconvenienced and disrupted by certain changes,” said Mary Carole Cooney, the chairwoman of the elections board. “We decided that we would not change anything prior to the November election. We can always revisit that” after the election is complete, she said.
The changes in question would have affected more than 5,500 voters in predominately African-American communities, including those who vote at Harper Archer Middle and Towns Elementary schools in the Adamsville area; at the John Birdine neighborhood facility; and at Fickett Elementary School in southwest Atlanta.
County officials said they proposed the changes to make it easier for people to figure out where to vote and to reflect a decline in Election Day usage of the precincts as the popularity of early voting has surged across Fulton.