Lowry: Voting suit not about electing blacks

I am writing to debunk the recent article … in the Atlanta Journal Constitution regarding district voting in Fayette County. The article … and articles written in The Citizen newspaper have portrayed district voting as being about getting blacks elected to public office in Fayette County. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The lawsuit brought by plaintiffs and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF) was not about getting African Americans elected to office.

It was about getting people elected to office, regardless of their race or ethnicity, who will represent the interests of the people who live in District 5.

State Representative Fludd and Mr. Dubose said this in [the AJC] interview with them. It has been the news media who have misled the citizens of Fayette County and made this a racial issue. This has been a grave disservice and misrepresentation to the citizens of Fayette County.

I have been a resident of Fayette County for 25 years. I have children who attended school in the county. I have been active in their schools and county politics during that time.

During that time, there have been several school board members and commissioners who represented north Fayette.

Of the four school board representatives, I can count on my hands the times they have shown up for meetings in north Fayette. The same is true for the commissioners.

We even had a commissioner who was arrested on drug charges but who still remained our commissioner through the at-large voting system.

Fayette County, unlike 24 years ago, is now a culturally and ethnically diverse county. The over 190 years of at-large voting, which deprived African Americans of the access to equal and fair representation in the political structure of Fayette County, are at last over. I believe the voters in Fayette County realize this.

It is time for the Board of Commissioners to stop wasting taxpayers’ dollars in continuing to fight for keeping the old system of at-large voting.

Already they have spent over $300,000 to fight a lawsuit on which the judge has ruled in an 80-page decision.

Demonizing the NAACP and the Legal Defense Fund for doing their job isn’t working. Most of the citizens of Fayette County realize this is just being done by certain commissioners who are afraid they will lose under district voting in the upcoming election. I wonder why they are so afraid?

Dan Lowry
Fayetteville, Ga.

[Mr. Lowry is one of the plaintiffs in the NAACP lawsuit.]