Cobb SCLC sends letter to Cobb legislative delegation regarding Mableton de-annexation attempt

a screenshot of the six districts in Mableon, with 1,2,3 to the south, 4, 5, 6 to the north

Cobb SCLC sent the following letter to the Cobb County legislative delegation last month:


Cobb Legislative Delegation

January 4, 2023


Dear Esteemed Members of the Cobb Legislative Delegation to the Georgia General Assembly:

‘Hope this note finds you well and Happy New Year to you!

As you know during the general election in November the majority of South Cobb residents affected by the Cityhood of Mableton ballot question voted to approve it.

The validity of the vote, though it was not even close, had been contested by those who were opposed to such Cityhood and was found to be valid by the relevant authorities at the County and State level. So, the formation of the city is in process, as per applicable Georgia law.

It has come to our attention that there is now a De-Annexation Movement planning to attempt to de-annex an entire voting precinct or precincts from the new City before it is even formed or, failing that (which is likely since its official formation is imminent in the next two weeks), after its formation.

As you may know, Georgia law currently allows specific neighborhoods to de-annex from a municipality through two methods: 1) 100% of the neighborhood’s residents to petition the new City Council to approve said neighborhood’s de-annexation; or, 2) An act by the State Legislature to approve such a neighborhood or area’s de-annexation. (Annexation and De-annexation are governed by O.C.G.A. Title 36, Chapter 36 § 36-36-1 et seq.)

However, this Mableton De-Annexation Movement wants the legislature to enact a bill enabling an entire voting precinct or precincts to de-annex based on the premise that the majority of the voters in said precincts voted against the Cityhood ballot question. If this petition were to be granted, in our opinion, it would set a dangerous precedent of enabling said residents in such a precinct to nullify the valid affirmative votes of those who voted for the initiative, no matter if they are in the minority in that particular precinct however prevailed in the general election.

There should never, in our opinion, be allowed such a nullification of votes of any valid voting members of the districts in question, no matter what the ballot issue is and regardless of the outcome of the overall election and results of such ballot initiatives. The current Georgia law relating to de-annexation is adequate as it stands to remedy the issues at hand. (And any such new efforts to amend that process would likely require Justice Department preclearance in order to ensure compliance with the requirements of the Voting Rights Act, 47 U.S.C. § 1971, especially if the voting rights of any protected class are affected.)

Please use your vote to direct the Mableton De-Annexation Movement to utilize the methods provided under current Georgia law without the need for any such new legislation allowing the de-annexation of voting precincts or areas which may adversely affect the voting rights of the residents in those areas.


Richard A. Pellegrino

Richard A Pellegrino

Field Director, Cobb County Chapter

Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC