|U.S. Department of Justice |
Civil Rights Division
|Office of the Assistant Attorney General||Washington, D.C. 20530|
| ||September 20, 1999|
John H. White, Jr., Esq.
P.O. Box 667
McComb, Mississippi 39649-0667
Dear Mr. White:
This refers to your request that the Attorney General reconsider and withdraw the June 28, 1999, objection interposed under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. 1973c, to the use of the American Legion Hut as the designated polling place for Voting Precinct 2A for the City of McComb in Pike County, Mississippi. We received your request on July 20, 1999; supplemental information was received on August 2, 1999.
This also refers to your submission under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of the creation of two additional voting precincts (revised Voting Precinct 2A and Voting Precinct 2C) and the polling place location designated for Voting Precinct 2C. We received your submission on July 20, 1999; supplemental information was received on August 2, 1999.
On June 28, 1999, we interposed an objection under Section 5 to the use of the American Legion Hut as a polling place in District 2 for voters in proposed Voting Precinct 2A, as then configured. We were concerned about the impact of the change on minority voters in the proposed precinct who were separated from the polling place by a railroad track and, without the benefit of public transportation, would have had a more difficult time getting to their polling place location. The city now proposes to include these minority voters in proposed Voting Precinct 2C, rather than Voting Precinct 2A, and to locate the polling place for Voting Precinct 2C on the east side of the railroad tracks within walking distance of their residences (Community Parks Apartments). Consequently, the configuration now proposed for Voting Precinct 2A will include only those District 2 voters who live west of the railroad tracks and north of Voting Precinct 2B.
The Attorney General does not interpose any objection to the creation of revised Voting Precinct 2A and Voting Precinct 2C, and the polling place designated for Voting Precinct 2C. In addition, pursuant to the Procedures for the Administration of Section 5, 28 C.F.R. 51.48(b), the objection interposed to the use of the American Legion Hut as a polling place is hereby withdrawn because the polling place will now serve only those voters who reside in revised Voting Precinct 2A. We note, however, that Section 5 expressly provides that the failure of the Attorney General to object does not bar subsequent litigation to enjoin enforcement of the changes. See 28 C.F.R. 51.41.
Furthermore, we note that the configuration originally proposed for Voting Precinct 2A to which we made no determination in our June 28, 1999, letter, has been superceded by our preclearance above of a revised Voting Precinct 2A. Accordingly, no determination by the Attorney General is required concerning this matter.
|Bill Lann Lee |
Acting Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division