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Malapportioned City Commission Districts

Robert Timothy Reagan, Margaret S. Williams, Marie Leary, Catherine R. Borden, Jessica L. Snowden, Patricia D. Breen, Jason A. Cantone
July 18, 2013
Available Online Only

Wright v. City of Albany (W. Louis Sands, M.D. Ga. 1:03-cv-148)
The district court enjoined the November 2003 election for Albany, Georgia’s board of commissioners on a September 24 federal complaint that the commission districts were malapportioned. District lines reflecting the 2000 census had not yet received preclearance pursuant to section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. The judge permitted a mayoral candidate, elected at large, to intervene in an unsuccessful attempt to protect the mayoral election’s going forward as planned. With the assistance of the state legislature’s Reapportionment Services Office, the judge drew district lines and set an election for February 10, 2004. On the day of the election, the judge kept the polls open until 9:00 p.m. because of problems at some polls. The plaintiffs recovered $35,647.75 in attorney fees and expenses.
Topics: Malapportionment; enjoining elections; section 5 preclearance; intervention; polling hours; attorney fees.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.