Cobb County

Cobb County board of elections, director sued over alleged racist school district lines

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — Several organizations including the Southern Poverty Law Center have filed a lawsuit against the Cobb County Board of Elections and its director.

They believe the Cobb County School District map does not reflect the diversity in Cobb County.

Jillian Ford, who is a plaintiff in the lawsuit, told Channel 2′s Michele Newell that she is tired of what she calls racism within the school district.

“For at least four years, we have been ignored completely,” Ford said.

Students have voiced their concerns at several school board meetings about it.

Ford said she believes the problems in the district are a direct result of the lack of diversity on the school board.

There are four white school board members and three Black members.

“My concern is that we have a school board that is not representing the students and parents in Cobb County,” Ford said. “The white members of the board have effectively silenced the three Black members of the board.”


The Southern Poverty Law Center, the ACLU and other organizations have filed a lawsuit against the Cobb County Board of Elections and its director, saying they believe the Cobb County school board and board of elections maps intentionally discriminate against Black and Latino communities by packing them into a small number of districts.

“We challenge that districts 2, 3 and 6 are racial gerrymanders in violation of the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution,” said Poy Winichakul, Southern Poverty Law Center attorney.

“What I want to see come out of this lawsuit is for these maps to be re-drawn so that the school board represents the people in the school district,” Ford said.

Newell was told the lawsuit is being filed against the county’s board of elections office and its director

because they have the power to enact the school board maps.

Newell contacted the district office and was told they have not been made aware of this lawsuit.


Michele Newell

Michele Newell, WSB-TV

Michele Newell has been part of the WSB-TV family since November 2021. Before moving to Atlanta, Michele worked at TV news stations in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Columbus, Ohio and Steubenville, Ohio.