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Jonesboro City Council

The Atlanta suburb if Jonesboro's population is 61 percent black, a majority not reflected on its city council.

Police station as polling place eyed as a civil rights violation in Georgia

Should the police station be the only polling place in a town with a black majority population, a white majority municipal government and a recent history of racial tensions in law enforcement?

The city council of Jonesboro, a rapidly gentrifying but still poor suburb south of Atlanta, has said "yes." Civil rights groups say the proper answer is "no."

The council said its decision in September to hold this year's local elections in the police station is because the usual polling location, a museum, is being renovated and city hall isn't big enough. The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law and five other groups that promote civil and voting rights this week urged the city to reverse itself or face a potential lawsuit in November for violating the Voting Rights Act.

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Some Georgia lawmakers support allowing those convicted of nonviolent felonies to be eligible to vote immediately after their release, while others favor giving the franchise back so quickly only to drug possession convicts.

More felon voting rights on the agenda in Georgia

Georgia lawmakers are considering whether to make it easier for felons to vote.

A state Senate committee convened a hearing Friday to deliberate proposals for expanding voting rights for the state's 250,000 felons, particularly those convicted of nonviolent drug possession.

In Georgia, felons are eligible to re-register after finishing their sentences, completing parole, and paying all court fees and fines. Twenty-one other states have a similar model while 12 states bar felons from voting indefinitely.

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Widespread poll closings found in places no longer subject to federal election oversight

Almost 1,700 polling places have been closed in counties that are no longer subject to federal oversight brought on by past voting discrimination, according to a new study that was highlighted at a congressional hearing Tuesday.

The poll closings, documented in the report Democracy Diverted by the Leadership Conference Education Fund, was one of several examples witnesses gave of what they say are discriminatory practices that have occurred since the Supreme Court voided a key part of the Voting Rights Act six years ago.

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Voters in Atlanta cast ballots in the 2018 election. A new voting system ordered by the state has prompted legal challenges from voters who claim it has numerous deficiencies.

Voters challenge newly ordered election equipment in Georgia

Georgia voters are challenging a new $107 million voting system ordered by state officials last month, claiming it does not provide the kind of paper record that will ensure their votes are being cast properly.

The petition, sent earlier this week to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, is filed under a provision of state law that allows voters to request a reexamination of voting devices approved by the state. It claims that the system doesn't meet the state's certification requirements but does not say whether it should just be fixed or replaced with a different system.

The challenge is just the latest development in a battle over election procedures and security that dates back to before the 2018 gubernatorial race in which Democrat Stacey Abrams lost a tight race to Republican Brian Kemp amid claims of voting irregularities.

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