Advocacy groups are asking a federal judge to schedule a trial next month to resolve their ongoing voting rights litigation with Gwinnett County — and they’re threatening to try and stall Gwinnett’s 2018 elections if it’s not. An alliance led by the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials and the Georgia NAACP filed a lawsuit in August 2016 alleging that Gwinnett County’s commission and school board districts were drawn to dilute the influence of minority voters. The subsequent time has been full of legal wrangling by both sides and, earlier this month, Judge Amy Totenberg ordered them to issue a joint statement regarding their positions on a dozen key issues in the case.
The statement was filed Tuesday and in it, GALEO and the NAACP ask the court to schedule a trial in April, ahead of primary elections scheduled for May 22.
“… If that is not possible,” they wrote, “Plaintiffs request that the Court set a deadline for Plaintiffs to file a motion for preliminary injunction to enjoin Defendant Gwinnett County Board of Elections from holding elections in 2018 for County Commission and School Board seats under the current districting plans.”
A pair of Democratic candidates has qualified to run for each of the two Gwinnett commission seats that will be on ballots this fall. They will square off in their respective primaries before the victors face Republican incumbents in November’s general election.