Today, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) sent a letter to the Fayette County, Georgia Board of Commissioners (BOC) concerning the redistricting process and the BOC’s obligation to comply with Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution during the 2021. LDF urges the Board to correct any malapportionment problems following the 2020 census and to ensure that Black voters and voters of color have a voice and equal opportunity to elect candidates of their choice in all districts. Currently, District 4 is the lone and hard-won single-member district that complies with the spirit and text of the Voting Rights Act. Beginning in 2014 after the overhaul of the at-large voting system, Black voters in District 4 have seen their candidate of choice elected in multiple election cycles and have elected their candidate of choice in a district in which they comprise a plurality of the VAP. And that representation has been vital to ensuring the responsiveness of the BOC to the needs of Black and other voters of color in Fayette.
During the 2021 redistricting cycle, the Board of Commissioners has proposed increasing the population of Black voters in District 4 during the 2021 redistricting cycle. By “packing” Black voters in District 4, the Board proposed map would diminish Black voting strength and deny the opportunity for Black and other voters of color outside that lone district to meaningfully participate in the political process and elect candidates of their choice. Rather than unnecessarily pack more Black voters in District 4, as the BOC proposes to do, in this post-2020 redistricting cycle, the BOC has the opportunity to develop another district in which Black and other voters of color could form the plurality, or, Black voters could, at minimum, form a sufficiently large part of the electorate to influence elections in the district.
LDF has proposed an alternative map (Appendix A), as the BOC’s current map would effectively foreclose the opportunity to create a second opportunity district that would ensure Black voters have an equal opportunity to elect candidates of their choice for at least a decade. LDF’s alternative plan complies with the U.S. Constitution, Section 2, other governing laws and principles, and, by comparison to the map proposed by the Board, goes much further in protecting the electoral opportunity of Fayette County’s voters of color.
Read the full letter and LDF’s proposed map here.
LDF has been closely monitoring the redistricting processes in Georgia and other key states to prevent discriminatory redistricting plans and ensure that legislatures comply with their obligations under the Voting Rights Act and the U.S. Constitution. Read more about LDF’s redistricting work here.
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Follow LDF on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.