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Georgia Public Utility Elections Dilute Black Votes, Judge Says

Aug. 8, 2022, 7:45 PM

Georgia’s century-old method of using statewide, at-large elections for commissioners on its Public Service Commission unlawfully dilutes the votes of Black citizens and must change, a federal judge said in a ruling that could delay certain elections currently scheduled for November.

Black voters in Georgia are a politically cohesive and racially polarized group, and their voting power is diluted by the state’s practice of choosing public service commissioners for distinct geographic districts through state-wide elections, Judge Steven D. Grimberg of the US District Court for the Northern District of Georgia ruled Aug. 5.

According to Grimberg, this practice has coincided ...