Elaine Brown Removed from Ballot in Brunswick, GA

Elaine Brown Removed from Ballot in Brunswick, GA

Greens Denounce Court Ruling Barring Elaine Brown From Ballot in Brunswick, GA


Friday, November 4, 2005

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Green Party leaders condemned a court decision upholding the removal of Elaine Brown from the ballot and from voter rolls in the November 8 election for Mayor of Brunswick, Georgia, and charged that Ms. Brown's disqualification by challengers in an attempt to crush the right of Brunswick's African American voters to vote for someone who represents their interests.

Many local Greens are encouraging Brunswick voters to elect two other candidates on the ballot in Brunswick, Gladys Lyde and James Brooks, who are running for City Commission seats.

"Republicans and their friends on court benches have proven that they will stop at nothing to remove competition and to fix elections," said Gwen Wages, co- chair of the Green Party of the United States. "We saw it in the presidential elections in Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004, and we see it now in a local race in Brunswick."

The court dismissed Ms. Brown's challenge to a decision by the Glynn County Board of Elections to remove her from the ballot because it claimed she had not sufficiently established residency in Brunswick a year before the election, even though she had registered to vote in Brunswick more than a year before November 8, based on false claims made by two challengers who admittedly didn't know Ms. Brown or where she lived.

One of the challengers against Ms. Brown is a close friend of the current mayor, Brad Brown, a Lieutenant Colonel in the Sons of Confederate Veterans; the challenger's wife is a reenactor for same organization.

Both challengers are supporters of the Republican candidate and were represented by the same attorney.

"The message of the decision is that no guarantee of the right to vote or to run for office exists for African Americans," said Sundiata Tellem, co-chair of the Black Caucus of the Green Party. Ms. Brown would have been the first African American mayor of Brunswick, a majority African American city.

Greens called the ruling a blow to the citizens of Brunswick, especially to those who signed Ms. Brown's petition to get on the ballot, to the thousands of African American voters who planned to vote for the first time because of the Brown campaign, and to their right to a choice of candidates on the ballot. Ms. Brown is continuing to appeal the Board's decision in the courts and on the streets.

"Elaine Brown is running against the forced displacement of thousands of low-income African American residents of Brunswick under Blueprint Brunswick, a monster development scheme," said Jody Grage Haug, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States. "Bryan Thompson, the CEO and president of Blueprint Brunswick, is the Republican candidate in the mayoral race. Thanks to the decision of the Elections Board and the court's affirmation of the decision, this is now a stolen election."