It warms the heart to see the newfound concern that Georgia has for its disabled residents. Election overseers were worried sick that the disabled in Randolph County, a rural hamlet where 60 percent of residents are black and nearly a third live in poverty, might arrive at their polling place and find they had to park on grass or, worse, that there was no railing next to the toilet seat. And so, bless their hearts, the officials did the compassionate thing: They proposed to close seven of the nine polling places in Randolph. Now disabled people wouldn’t have to worry about tripping on turf. They’d simply have to haul themselves up to 30 miles round trip to one of the two remaining precincts. … Many of those present expressed suspicion that the election officials’ motive was concern for the disabled, rather than, say, suppressing African American voters. Malone assured them this was the “farthest thing from the fact.” Indeed, why would anybody suspect this?
Well, maybe because voters in African American-majority Randolph went for Hillary Clinton by 11 points. Maybe because in a county where there is negligible public transportation and nearly a quarter of households don’t have a car, eliminating 78 percent of polling places (including one where nearly 97 percent of voters are black) pretty much guarantees people won’t vote.
And maybe because the proposal’s author, Malone, was suggested for the job by the office of Secretary Kemp — who just happens to be the Republican gubernatorial nominee against Democrat Stacey Abrams, who just happens to be black.
Oh, and maybe because Malone showed Randolph residents a slide saying “consolidation has come highly recommended by the secretary of state” — before retracting that claim.