County to appeal district voting decree

The Fayette County commission “will pursue” an appeal of a federal judge’s ruling that would toss out Fayette County’s election process in favor of a district voting format.

The judge’s ruling earlier this month granted the request of individual plaintiffs including the local and national branches of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The ruling forces a new election scheme called district voting that would limit voters to choosing just one representative each to the county commission and the board of education. Currently the at-large system allows all voters to cast ballots in all five races on each board.

The plaintiffs argued the current system discriminates against black residents by keeping them from selecting the candidate of their choice. Black residents comprise just above 20 percent of the county’s population according to the 2010 U.S. Census.