Voting Rights

Attorney General Jeff Sessions will appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee for an oversight hearing Wednesday. There's a lot to discuss.

In eight months as the nation's top federal law enforcement official, Sessions has presided over a series of Justice Department reversals — from police oversight and voting rights litigation to protections for the LGBT community.

North Carolina's Republican-led General Assembly has approved a set of legislative district maps to replace the 2011 plans thrown out by the courts for being illegal racial gerrymanders. The problem, many critics say, is that the new maps are just as bad.

The state's battles over political geography come less than six weeks before the U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear arguments in a case about the extent to which partisanship can be used to draw legislative and congressional districts.

David Goldman / AP Photo

Earlier this month, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law sued Georgia to extend voter registration in the congressional race for the 6th District. The group successfully extended the deadline, but now they want to permanently change Georgia law to reflect federal law. We talk about the controversy with Chris Joyner of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Watchdog column and Julie Houk with LCCRUL.

WIKIPEDIA COMMONS / Creative Commons

Attorneys on both sides of a high-profile case of what was alleged to be voter fraud in Georgia say they have agreed those charges were unfounded.

In the lead up to a contentious local election in 2015, sheriff’s deputies in Hancock County ­– 100 miles east of Atlanta – knocked on doors checking to see if voters were living where their drivers’ licenses said they did. The board of elections identified 180 voters, mostly African-American, who were mismatched and accused them of voter fraud.

After out-of-court mediation, an agreement issued this week refutes that. 

AJC

Gwinnett County is the most diverse county in the Southeast, but the area is represented almost entirely by white officials. And now, a lawsuit by a coalition of voting rights groups alleges that minority votes are being weakened by unfair district lines.  

We speak with a trio of local experts about how much political representation and race matter in multicultural communities.

The small city of Sparta, Georgia made headlines this week. A lawsuit claims Hancock County and its Board of Elections systematically questioned the registrations of nearly two hundred Sparta voters - most of whom are black. A quarter of the voters were removed from voter rolls. This electoral move would have required the pre-clearance from the federal government three years ago. But the Supreme Court struck down that provision, saying the mandate was outdated and unconstitutional.