Georgia State Rep. Barry Fleming (R-Harlem) is reportedly no longer the designated attorney for Hancock County because of voter integrity legislation he’s filed with the Georgia General Assembly.
This, according to the Atlanta-based Georgia Public Broadcasting.
Fleming chairs the Georgia House Special Committee on Election Integrity.
Many state legislators do not simultaneously serve in office while also serving as county attorneys.
County commissioners voted unanimously this week to force Fleming out “after pressure from citizens opposed to his work on proposed voting law changes,” the station reported.
“Fleming is currently the House Special Committee on Election Integrity Chairman and primary sponsor of HB 531, a 66-page voting omnibus that would make sweeping changes to voting in Georgia, including limiting access to drop boxes and curbing larger counties’ ability to offer a full slate of weekend voting,” according to GPB.
“Hancock has one of the highest proportions of Black voters in the country and has been the center of several voting controversies in recent years, including an episode in 2015 when a fifth of the voters in Sparta — all Black — had their voter registrations challenged.”
GPB quoted one county resident, Johnny Thornton, as saying he hopes that the commissioners’ vote embarrassed Fleming.
“We might not be taking a lot of money out of his pocket, but it’s sure going to embarrass the hell out of him to say your a** has been fired,” Thornton reportedly told the station.
“That type of leverage will make some of these other state representatives in some of these rural towns say, ‘Wait a minute.'”
As The Georgia Star News reported this month, Fleming also sponsored a bill that would provide the State Election Board with greater powers to suspend, appoint, and replace superintendents who oversee elections at the city or county level.
The language of the bill defines a superintendent as the judge of a probate court or a county board of elections. That definition also includes a county board of elections and registration, a joint city-county board of elections, or a joint city-county board of elections and registration.
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