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Around Georgia: Website opposes elimination of Sunday voting

Impact on minority voters, especially in Atlanta, debated

Thinkprogress.org, a self-described progressive website, says a proposal before the Georgia General Assembly would make it more difficult for residents of majority-black Atlanta to vote by eliminating Sunday voting. State Sen. Matt Brass, a Republican from Newnan who sponsored Senate Bill 363, said the legislation is about fairness and not race. “Quite honestly, race never entered my mind until after the amendment was added and I began receiving emails calling me a racist,” Brass told ThinkProgress in an email. “I never make decisions based on race, never have, wasn’t raised that way.” Nse Ufot, the executive director of the nonpartisan voter engagement group New Georgia Project, said Brass’ intent is not important. “There’s intent and then there’s impact, and this will disproportionately impact voters of color and this will disproportionately impact women and caretakers,” she said. “So whether or not you meant to cause harm I think is of very little comfort to those … having their voting rights infringed on.” According to Think Progress, 53 percent of early weekend voters in 2016 were minorities, compared with 35 percent of the overall electorate.

Stockbridge opposes down-to-wire action on Eagles Landing

Stockbridge officials say they’ll take legal action if a public vote moves forward on carving out the homes of 9,0000 Stockbridge residents and many of the city’s commercial properties for a proposed city of Eagles Landing. City buses were headed to the Capitol on Tuesday “to show how many residents are troubled by the proposal,” Stockbridge City Manager Randy Knighton said at a Monday press conference. Mayor Anthony Ford said he has signed contracts with two attorneys to help Stockbridge fight the new city should it move toward a ballot vote and be approved by voters, according to The Henry Herald. “I hope that we don’t have to engage fully in our law firms we hired, but we will if we have to to save our city to keep us complete,” Ford said. The legislative session for 2018 ends Thursday, so this is expected to go down to the wire.

Exploration of Barrow County government consolidation will be put before local voters

Georgia lawmakers have approved legislation calling for a nonbinding public vote on exploring the consolidation of Barrow County and the cities within its boundaries. The referendum will be held in conjunction with the May 22 primary elections, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Terry England, R-Auburn, said in the weekend edition of The Barrow News Journal. “This would be done through the creation of an independent commission appointed by the Barrow County Board of Commissioners, the affected municipalities, the Barrow County Board of Education, and our legislative delegation,” England said.

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