Rising up to challenge their government’s 200-year history of racial oppression and all-white rule, Black voters of the Town of Federalsburg are asking a federal court to grant a preliminary injunction ordering the Town’s all-white government to put in place a new election system that fully addresses longstanding vote dilution -- in time for municipal elections scheduled for this September.
Nehemiah Bester edited this video.
On Tuesday, May 9, 2023, a U.S. District Judge ordered the town of Federalsburg to submit a new plan to the Court and the Plaintiffs on its racially discriminatory election system.
Nick Taichi Steiner, staff attorney, ACLU of Maryland: We're really hopeful. The judge decided to give the defendant two weeks to come up with a plan to fix their unlawful
voting rights system.
Carl Snowden, convener, The Caucus of African American Leaders: This is a huge victory for the NAACP and the ACLU and people who are concerned for voting rights. This is a major victory.
Sherone Lewis, Federalsburg resident, Testified at the Hearing: When they asked me, what would representation on the Town Council, how much, what would that mean to me? And I took a deep breath and I said you know, I think it would make my grandparents proud. Choking back tears. I said and it would make my grandparents proud. It would make my mother proud. It would, it will make my children proud, and my grandchildren to come.
Nick Taichi Steiner, staff attorney, ACLU of Maryland: So in two weeks time, hopefully the judge will find that the system is unlawful and violates the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and order the defendant to produce or institute a remedial plan that corrects 200 years worth of disenfranchisement for the Black community in Federalsburg.
Roberta Butler, Federalsburg resident: Two weeks to get their act together and tell the truth and be truthful to us. They got two weeks to get their act together.
It took 200 years, but Federalsburg only has two weeks left, to tell the truth.