A proposal to close down all but two polling places in a majority-black Georgia district was rejected and the consultant who proposed the measure was fired, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Consultant Mike Malone was fired and his proposal to close seven out of nine precincts before the November elections are expected to be voted down.
“He’s certainly done more than enough,” Randolph County Attorney Tommy Coleman said Thursday. “The county is distressed because of the position they’ve found themselves in.”
The proposal came under fire after critics accused the state of trying to suppress voter turnout.
Malone said during public meetings last week that precincts should be closed because they’re inaccessible to the disabled, they’re expensive and they serve small numbers of voters. The county’s two largest precincts would have remained open.
Randolph County is 61 percent black and supported Democrat Hillary Clinton for president with 55 percent of the vote in 2016.
Malone, who was hired in April to assist with elections until the county could find a permanent elections supervisor, didn’t return a message seeking comment Thursday.
Malone’s consulting contract with Randolph County doesn’t mention closing precincts.
“That wasn’t what he was hired to do,” Coleman said. “We don’t need the guy.”
The county Board of Elections is expected to vote down the proposal Friday.
“I would be the most surprised person in Georgia if this passed,” Coleman said.