Voting site reopened in Georgia after grassroots fight

Voting site reopened in Georhia When local election officials shut down a polling site in a predominantly black area of a rural Georgia county, displaced voters couldn’t look to the federal government to intervene as it once did in areas with a history of racial disenfranchisement.

So residents banded together, circulating petitions pressuring the Jeff Davis County elections board to reconsider, while advocacy groups sent pre-lawsuit demands and organized turnout at board meetings. The grassroots struggle took two years, but county officials finally relented and agreed to reopen the polling site.

With hundreds of voting sites closing or consolidating nationwide, the victory in Jeff Davis stands out as a rare expansion of in-person voting access since the 2013 Supreme Court decision that freed Georgia and other states from the Voting Rights Act of 1965’s requirement to prove to the federal government that voting changes won’t be discriminatory.