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Black Voters Given Little Choice in Georgia

by Tom Burke |
November 6, 2005
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Brunswick, GA - Forty people rallied here, Oct. 29 to demand that the people of Brunswick, Georgia be given the right to vote for Elaine Brown. Brown, the Green Party candidate was removed from the ballot and barred from voting following a residency challenge. The calculated attack came after six months of campaigning and after the period for Brown to be allowed as a write-in candidate. Beyond all reason, the Glynn County Board of Elections disqualified Brown. The decision was upheld without explanation by Senior Superior Court Judge Tom Pope.

Elaine Brown, a former Black Panther Party leader, decided to run for mayor of Brunswick after attending an anti-globalization protest on nearby Sea Island, where the G-8 ministers met to divide up the world economy. The contrast between Sea Island and Brunswick is stark: rich whites with political power versus working poor Blacks given little choice in local elections. The most recent mayor of this majority Black town was a Lieutenant Colonel of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Brown ran on an agenda of Black political empowerment, including a plan to create a local port authority that would benefit the majority of the people in the area. The current port is run by the State of Georgia and benefits the wealthy and powerful, with little benefit to Brunswick. Elaine Brown’s candidacy represented the democratic desires of the majority of the 16,000 people in Brunswick. It exposes the lie about the U.S. government 'spreading democracy overseas in Iraq,' while showing how little democracy there is down home in the South.

Brown is now backing African American mayoral candidate Otis Herrington. She states, "It is very important that an agenda that serves the needs of all the people be preserved and advanced. This is why I'm supporting Otis Herrington. I believe he provides the only other opportunity to marginalized voters to save our communities from a takeover by rich and powerful outside forces."