WASHINGTON, Ga. (WJBF) — For residents of Washington, Georgia, the state’s new sweeping election law is personal.
“We have an attorney, who represents the city of Washington, who is trying to suppress votes,” Nathaniel Cullars, a Washington City Councilman, claims.
State Rep. Barry Fleming has represented Washington as city attorney for years. He also serves as city attorney for Harlem, Lincolnton, and Greensboro and attorney for Burke, Putnam and Glascock Counties, according to Fleming’s website. Following the 2020 election, he sponsored a bill to overhaul the state’s election system, which was recently approved by Gov. Brian Kemp. Protesters, including Kimberly Rayney, compare the new laws to Jim Crow laws, which enforced racial segregation.
“The city is 64 percent black, African American or people of color,” Rayney, the Chairman of the Wilkes County Democratic Committee, explains. “When you’re suppressing the vote, you’re telling us we don’t matter.”
This is not the first time Fleming has been asked resign from one of his roles. He stepped down as attorney of Hancock County this month after similar protests erupted.
“These laws Barry Fleming has enacted are a threat to our democracy and threat to the right to vote for all constituents — black, white, Democrat, Republican and indifferent,” Maceo Mahoney, a Washington City Councilman, says.
Protesters are giving Fleming until Washington’s next city council meeting to resign on April 12. If he does not step down, they say they will explore other options to remove him from office.
Fleming did not respond to NewsChannel 6’s request for comment on this story.