An attempt to remove partisan labels from two local elections in Georgia and move the elections from November to July has run afoul of the Department of Justice. The Department is now seeking more information before allowing the changes to occur. Under the Voting Rights Act, states like Georgia need approval from the Federal Government before making changes to their elections.

The Department of Justice submitted a series of questions to local entities about the proposed changes. One of the issues that regulators feared is that a change from November elections to July elections could depress minority voter turnout in the elections. The Georgia Secretary of State cited voter turn out from 2012 that showed that minority turnout in the July primaries was depressed compared to the general election in November.

The local elections would also become non-partisan, under the plan approved by the Georgia State Legislature. However, the non-partisan switch would only impact the counties of Macon and Bibb, which raised additional questions from the DOJ.

Absentee ballots for the July election were scheduled to be mailed out next week.

Read the full article at Macon.Com.