April 11, 2001
Eatonton - A federal lawsuit accusing Putnam County voting officials of selectively purging members of the United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors from county voting rolls has been dismissed.
U.S. District Judge Duross Fitzpatrick of the Middle District of Georgia signed a dismissal order last week with the agreement of the plaintiffs and the Putnam County Board of Registrars.
Attorney David Buffington, representing the Nuwaubians, said it was a pragmatic decision by his clients.
"They didn't see any practical purpose in pursuing it any further," Mr. Buffington said. He said his clients would pursue another suit if they thought their rights were violated again.
The lawsuit, which threatened to postpone Putnam County's July primary election last year, came after the Board of Registrars challenged the residency of 196 people registered to vote in Putnam County. The Nuwaubians filed suit, alleging the effort to purge them from voting rolls was racially discriminatory.
The Nuwaubians, a predominantly black quasi-religious group, have a rural compound in Putnam County. County officials had accused them of trying to stack the voter roles with nonresidents to boost their clout in local elections.