The First Amendment Clinic sent a letter of concern to the Athens-Clarke County Board of Elections regarding its failure to provide effective public notice for a special called meeting in March 2020.

The meeting included discussion and a Board vote on whether to retain outside counsel to defend the Board at an up-coming State Board of Elections hearing.  Due to the manner in which notice was provided, members of the public were not informed of the meeting prior to its occurrence.  Going forward, the Clinic urges the Board of Elections to utilize non-burdensome supplemental notice methods to ensure that members of the public have the opportunity to attend, publicly comment, and report on special called and emergency Board meetings.

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The Issue

Government Transparency

Georgia’s legislature finds that transparent government is essential to a free, open, and democratic society. The state’s “sunshine laws” guarantee access to the public records and public meetings of local and state government agencies. The First Amendment and Georgia’s uniform superior court rules also protect the public’s right to observe court proceedings and review court…

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