Justice Department Questions Treatment of Whites In Noxubee Voting

AP, Dec. 24

MACON, Miss.—The U.S. Department of Justice has accused election officials in Noxubee County of discriminating against white voters in violation of the Voting Rights Act.

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The letter outlines problems found by Justice Department Investigator Christopher Coates. It alleges actions that Coates concludes were aimed at benefiting blacks in the predominantly black county.

Among those actions cited by Coates in the letter were:

—Preventing white voters from participating in the Democratic Primary.

—Allowing black candidates to violate residency requirements in an effort to defeat white candidates.

—Rejecting absentee ballots cast by white voters while accepting ballots from black voters that contain similar or more serious defects.

—Discriminating against whites in the selection of people to work at polls and in providing information about the absentee voting process.

—Blocking white candidates from viewing the tabulation of ballots while allowing black candidates to do so.

—Allowing blacks to violate restrictions against campaigning at the polls.

—Counting of absentee ballots to benefit black candidates while ignoring challenges and state laws regarding the counting of absentee ballots.

—Failing to provide sufficient privacy for voters to cast absentee ballots and efforts to inappropriately sway voters.

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