Lagniappe: DOJ opinion sought on Daphne poll plan
An April 13 letter from the Voting Rights Institute to the DOJ claims the consolidation is an example of discrimination. Written by VRI Executive Director J. Gerald Hebert, the letter argues the city of Daphne did not consider the effects of the voting age population in each district and did not adequately inform black community leaders about those effects before passing the resolution.
The letter further claims the reduction in the number of polling locations places an increased and disproportionate burden on members of Daphne’s black community.
“We are concerned that these actions will provide minorities with less opportunity than other members of the electorate to participate in the political process, and call upon the Department of Justice to investigate these matters without delay,” Hebert wrote. “The new polling location for Districts 1 and 3 at the Daphne Civic Center is more than two miles away from the old location in 1. Meanwhile, residents of Daphne’s least racially diverse districts will continue to vote at their existing location.”