Charges against the Quitman 10, Dropped
Posted on January 07, 2015
After four years, three trials, two mistrials, and an acquittal in the trial of Lula Smart; Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp's Voter Fraud Cases against the courageous citizens known as the Quitman 10 has utterly failed. Prosecutors with the Prosecuting Attorneys' Council of Georgia announced a dismissal of all charges against the remaining defendants after Lula Smart was acquitted by a Brooks County Jury of 19 charges of voter fraud. "The Witch hunt is over and the Quitman 10 story reaffirms that Davids can still have victories over Goliath" said Francys Johnson, Georgia NAACP President and Civil Rights Attorney from Statesboro, Georgia responding to the recent news. "This is a total victory against the forces of retrogression that tried to intimidate and suppress democracy in South Georgia" said Johnson.
The issue of Voter Fraud was front and center during the past election cycle as the Georgia NAACP stood with civil rights and faith leaders from across Georgia in solidarity with the New Georgia Project. The New Georgia Project and the Georgia NAACP delivered more than 51,000 unprocessed voter registration applications to Secretary of State's Office. After multiple arrests, protests, sit-ins, and a civil case; Secretary Kemp still has not addressed questions raised regarding the lack of processing of more than 51,000 voter registration applications.
The Georgia NAACP believes the Secretary of State has abused his power. Specifically, he is clearly targeting minorities including women, the elderly and young voters by attempting to suppress voter registration drives and absentee campaigns like those used in Quitman. "We will not tolerate voter suppression or intimidation. This is an attack on all of us, and we will not back down" said Johnson.
"While I am grateful this nightmare is over for the remaining defendants; Georgians must ask why Secretary of State Brian Kemp wasted millions of dollars intimidating honest Georgian trying to use the tools of civic engagement to make a difference" said Johnson.