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franklin county times

NAACP won't try to stop city elections

By By Ben Alexander/The Meridian Star
April 22, 2001
Local NAACP officials have decided not to seek legal action that could have halted upcoming municipal elections in Meridian.
After getting a glimpse of early Census 2000 data, which showed that Meridian has a black majority, Clark threatened a lawsuit if the Justice Department did not postpone the municipal elections. The local civil rights leader wanted to wait until city-wide redistricting could take place later this year.
Preliminary census data showed the number of whites making up Meridian's total population dropped by slightly more than 10 percent since 1990, while the city's African-American population rose by almost 9 percent, creating a majority black population for the city.
Clark and other black leaders felt initially the change in demographics could have been large enough to protest the election because African-Americans may not be proportionately represented in city wards.
But after closer examination, Clark said the changes aren't significant enough to warrant a possible lawsuit.
Party primaries will proceed as scheduled on May 1. The general election will be on June 5.
Ben Alexander is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3226, or e-mail him at alexander@themeridianstar.com.