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Conyers 2013 elections may not be affected by Supreme Court ruling
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Local officials are waiting to hear the final word from state and federal officials on how the Supreme Court’s recent ruling, which struck down a key section of the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act, will affect local procedures. But the upcoming city council and mayoral elections in the fall may not be affected since redistricting was already approved and carried out last year.

Rockdale Elections Supervisor Cynthia Welch said she was waiting to see if there was anything issued from the state Attorney General about preclearance. However, voting districts that were redrawn as mandated after the 2010 Census were approved by the Department of Justice at the end of 2011.

“The only concern I have is if we have to have a special election,” Welch said. “Before, for a special election, we’d have to have DOJ approval on it.”

Two city council seats — District 2 Post 1 and District 1 —  and the Conyers mayor seat are up for election in November. Chris Bowen has held the District 2 Post 1 seat since 1991. Cleveland Stroud has served in the District 1 seat since 1994. Mayor Randy Mills has been mayor since 1998.  

Stroud said he is running for re-election. No information was available on whether Bowen or Mills will do the same.

The section affected by the Supreme Court’s decision required federal Department of Justice approval or federal court approval for voting district and procedure changes for states and areas with a history of past discrimination. Georgia and eight other states — Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia — along with parts of California, Florida, New York, North Carolina, South Dakota, and Michigan fell under the Act. Districts that used qualification tests for voters, such as literacy tests, or had fewer voters than 50 percent of the population that was of voting age fell under the Act.

For more information on the Voting Rights Act Section 5, go to