A coalition of civil rights groups and voters from Cobb County suing the county over what they say is a racially discriminatory district map are now asking for a judge to block the district selections before the next election.
According to an announcement, the four organizations that filed the suit on behalf of voters and voter advocacy groups from Georgia and Cobb County are now asking a judge to make sure the maps are out of use before a 2024 election cycle.
The legal effort alleges the voting districts drawn for Cobb County’s Board of Education elections in 2022 used racial demographic information to “pack” districts with Black and Latinx voters into just three of the seven districts.
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The announcement by the various legal groups and plaintiffs said the way the districts were chosen limits voters of color’s opportunities to vote for their preferred candidates in Districts 2, 3, and 6, and is, therefore a violation of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
While the lawsuit was initially filed in June 2022, the organizations filed a motion for a preliminary injunction to ensure fair maps ahead of the next election.
“This form of gerrymandering attempts to undermine a fair democratic process that is inclusive and representative of all Cobb County residents,” the statement reads in part.
The new motion, filed Tuesday, asks the court to reject the current maps due to how it “unfairly dilutes the voices of Black and Latinx voters” in Cobb County.
“Racial gerrymandering is unacceptable at the national, state, and local level, and these Cobb County School Board maps passed in an irregular legislative process are a disservice to the Cobb community and especially to students of color. We look forward to proving our case in court in time for the important 2024 elections, and will continue to work towards fair maps at every level across the State of Georgia,” Caitlin May, voting rights attorney at the ACLU of Georgia said.
The next school board election is scheduled for May 21, 2024. The motion by plaintiffs against the school board requests the court block the current maps before then.
A Cobb County School District spokesperson released a statement on Tuesday afternoon that read,
“As you can read in the District’s update, United States District Court Judge Ross found the plaintiffs provided no evidence of their allegations of racial discrimination by members of the Board or the District. We continue to be focused on students and schools. While attorneys focus on the courtroom, we appreciate our attorneys keeping the community updated on this important legal case.”
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