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Officials in a rural southwest Georgia county on Friday voted down a proposal to close nearly all of its polling places amid criticism that doing so would discriminate against African-Americans living there.

The county’s board of elections and registration in Randolph County rejected the proposal to close seven of the county’s nine polling locations. Michael Malone, a consultant hired by the board in April, recommended the closures as a cost-saving measure, saying that the seven locations were not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Malone was fired Thursday.

The two-person board made the decision seconds into a short meeting Friday morning, WALB reported.

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