Georgia County Admits To Intentionally Disenfranchising Black Voters

Remember when Antonin Scalia, the right-wing Reagan Supreme Court appointee, said the Voting Rights Act was a “perpetuation of racial entitlement” and helped gut it, along with four other Republican-appointees? Remember when they ruled that the coverage formula under Section 5 was unconstitutional, because it burdened states that once took part in the illegal disenfranchisement of voting?

Well, as it turns out, one of the states once scrutinized under the coverage formula of the VRA intentionally disenfranchised black voters in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections.

Fulton County, Georgia, which is situated in the northern part of the state and the most populous county, recently disclosed in a settlement that it had violated over two dozen laws, including illegally rejecting eligible ballots and sending voters to the wrong precincts (where their votes wouldn’t be counted). Within the county is a heavily African-American voting population who chose President Obama in the 2008 and 2012 election. The settlement shows that the state and county’s election officials intentionally misinformed the precincts of who was supposed to vote and when.

Even though Obama still won, countless voters never got to partake in their Constitutionally protected right, whether they be Democrat or Republican. One could argue this is Democratic-persecution.

So not only did these officials lie to precinct workers, but also neglected to provide the absentee ballots to the voters who requested one and did not put voters who registered on time on the rolls. Last year, when the Fulton County election commissioner was fired, she claimed it was because she refused to cover up the disenfranchisement.

In 2014, during the Senate election between Democrat Michelle Nun and Republican David Perdue, more than 40,000 newly registered voters, mostly black, were omitted from the voting rolls in neighboring DeKalb County.

After four (possibly six) years of disenfranchising thousands of voters, Fulton county has to pay a tiny fine of $180,000 and over $200,000 on new software to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Three-hundred and eighty thousand dollars. That’s the going rate for screwing over democracy — at least in Georgia, anyway. I wonder what the federal government would have to say about this, if they had real power to do anything.

So when Justices Kennedy, Scalia, Thomas, Roberts and Alito “found” Section 5 to be burdensome to the states, I wonder if they had an idea the real burden was on the backs of black voters in the South. It sounds like I’m talking about 1960, but the sad reality is this is happening just within the last seven years.

Voting rights are under attack, but you won’t hear this on Fox News and you certainly won’t hear Donald Trump or any other of the GOP lot mentioning it. This is why it is imperative to get out and vote and vote progressive.

Image via Michael Fleshman