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01 March 2012

Their History: Democrats Bar Negroes From Georgia Voting

While perusing the internet, I came across an article published June 8, 1944 in the St. Petersburg (Florida) Times.

dGeorgia Negroes Will Be Denied Right to Vote
Associated Press

Thousands of Georgia negroes, who registered and paid poll taxes in anticipation of voting, were told indirectly yesterday by Democratic party leaders that they may not participate in Georgia's July 4 Democratic primary.

Nominations in the primary have been equivalent to election since reconstruction days.

In a resolution reaffirming the principle of white supremacy, a sub-committee of the Democratic state executive committee sustained a rule restricting the primary voting to white electors, and directed that copies be sent to chairmen of county executive committees.

The sub-committee, composed of all general party officers, said a recent decision of the supreme court of the United States, holding negroes eligible to vote in Texas Democratic primaries, did not apply to Georgia. The resolution argued: (1) Georgia officials were not a party to the case, and (2) the Texas primary is created, regulated and controlled by statutes, while Georgia's primary is creature of the Democratic party, and not governed by election laws. Chairman Lon Duckworth said the sub-committee was authorized to act for the full executive committee, and the decision was final.

In Atlanta, where more than 5,000 negroes registered, the party rejection of participation came as negro leaders discussed plans for a state-wide negro Democratic organization. C.A. Scott, president of the Citizens' Democratic Club of Fulton county (Atlanta) and leader in the National Association for Advancement of Colored People said negro Democrats planned a meeting in Macon June 24 for that purpose.

"We are committed to vote and to support the Democratic candidates," Scott said, but withheld further comment.