GWA Achieves Complete Victory in Seminal First-Impression Federal Voting Rights Case in Georgia
U.S. District Court for The Northern District of Georgia Finds in Favor of Gregor Wynne Arney’s Clients, Including True the Vote in Major Voting Rights Case
Fair Fight, Inc. a political activist group founded by Stacy Abrams in 2018, filed their initial complaint in federal court in the state of Georgia on December 23,2020, alleging True the Vote, its founder, and individual Georgia citizens had violated the Voting Rights Act by employing a state statute authorizing citizen participation in the election process, through voter challenges. Attorney Michael Wynne represented True the Vote and all other defendants in a three-week bench trial before the Honorable Steven Jones. On January 2, 2024, the Court issued a 145-page memorandum opinion holding in summary, “there had not been any violation of Section 11(b) of the Voting Rights Act by any of the Defendants in the case,” and finding for the Defense on all issues of law.
The case involved challenges under Georgia law to the eligibility of voters who had filed permanent change of address notifications with the U.S. Postal Service to casts votes in the districts from which they had moved, whether out of state or otherwise, in an individual election. The election at issue, the January 5, 2021, runoff was significant, as the outcome would determine not only both of Georgia’s Senate seats, but also which political party would control the U.S. Senate.
Challenging voters did not remove voter names from the registry, rather it provided notification to individual county Board of Elections, who at their discretion, would require documentation from the challenged voters confirming their residency in the district in which they were voting. They amounted to inquiries regarding the eligibility of a voter to vote using an address from which he or she had told the U.S. Postal Service he or she had moved.
The Court ruled in favor of Gregor Wynne Arney’s clients on all counts, rejecting Plaintiffs’ allegation that the number of lawful and compliant challenges under a statute that facilitates public participation in the election process in and of itself constituted intimidation under the Voting Rights Act and at the same time rejecting Plaintiffs’ causation argument.
Case 2:20-cv-00302-SCJ Document 335 Filed 01/02/24