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29 May 2013

Obama Justice Department Holds Up Macon-Bibb County Elections Because Blacks Don't Vote in the Summer

AJC Political Insider Jim Galloway brought us this news from WMAZ-TV (Macon).

The U.S. Justice Department put off the July elections for the new Macon-Bibb County consolidated government until state legislators explain how they decided the timing and non-partisan format of the election.

. . . Local Democrats argued that holding the election in July would reduce the impact of black voters, who, statistics show, are less likely to vote in summer elections. They also argued for partisan elections, continuing the practice in the city of Macon and Bibb County.

The department has given the Bibb County legislative delegation 60 days to answer a list of questions and requests for materials related to the move to a nonpartisan July election.

Galloway, Jim (28 May 2013). Feds order Macon elections postponed. AJC Political Insider. Retrieved on 29 May 2013.

I’m a bit confused here.

Under the Voting Rights Act (VRA), Georgia must obtain pre-clearance from the Department of Justice (DOJ) before any changes to election law may be made so that the DOJ can ensure minority voters are not being disenfranchised.

In the WMAZ-TV article, "Democrats argued that holding the [Macon-Bibb County] election in July would reduce the impact of black voters who, statistics show, are less likely to vote in summer elections.”

Could not the argument be made that by failing to vote in summer elections, black voters (like myself) are effectively disenfranchising themselves?

Is it not true that by being less likely to vote in summer elections, black voters reduce their own impact?

Black voters freely choose not to vote in summer elections. How is the free choice of black voters not to vote in July elections a violation of the VRA?

Could someone please explain that to me?