Augusta city officials respond to lawsuit

Augusta city officials respond to lawsuit

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - Richmond County officials have responded to a lawsuit filed against mayor Deke Copenhaver and the Augusta commission about moving elections from November to May.

Early voting already started, but a handful of Georgia lawmakers refuse to back down.

A judge gave the city until April 30 to respond to allegations of voter discrimination for the new election dates.

The three state lawmakers that filed the suit want a judge to move the elections back to November, and they are using a 2012 Department of Justice report that found that moving the election could decrease the minority vote for their claim.

Augusta-Richmond County commissioners voted to move the election date last year, and city leaders say they are continuing with the May 20 election.

"At some point in time, the court will provide its wisdom on if any changes to be made and how those changes will work for us," said Lynn Bailey, executive direct for the Richmond County Elections Commission. "So until that time, though, it's important for voters to realize that the lawsuit that has been filed is very real and it's not potential, but it will only affect the offices of mayor and commission."

Bailey wants everyone to know that the elections for all the other positions will still be held on May 20 and that early voting started this week.

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