Officials in Georgia’s most populous county, where election operations are already under state scrutiny, fired two workers accused of shredding voter registration applications, according to a county statement released Monday.
Preliminary information indicates that employees checked batches of treatment requests and allegedly shredded some of the forms, according to the Fulton County statement. Colleagues reported the alleged actions to their supervisor on Friday morning and both employees were fired that day.
The county statement says the requests were received within the past two weeks. Fulton County includes most of the city of Atlanta, where voters are due to go to the polls on Nov. 2 to elect a mayor, city council members and other city officials. The deadline to register to vote in this election was October 4.
It is not immediately clear whether the 300 voter registration records in question were lost, county spokeswoman Jessica Corbitt said.
“Normally, processing an application for voter registration involves entering them into the state system, updating them, verifying their information,” she said. “This is the matter under investigation – has this process been completed? “
Voters do not register by party in Georgia, so nominations had no party affiliation.
Fulton County Registration and Election Officer Rick Barron reported the allegations to the Secretary of State’s Investigations Office.
“Fulton County called the Secretary of State’s office. We told them about it and asked them to investigate, ”Corbitt said.
Fulton County Commission Chairman Robb Pitts also reported the case to County District Attorney Fani Willis for investigation.
“Elections are the most important function of our government,” Pitts said in the statement. “We are committed to transparency and integrity.”
Georgian Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican who has long criticized election operations in the heavily Democratic county, said in a press release his office launched an investigation and called the US Department of Justice to look into the county elections.
“After 20 years of documented failure in the Fulton County election, Georgians are tired of waiting to see what the next embarrassing revelation will be,” Raffensperger said in the statement. “The Justice Department needs to take a hard look at what Fulton County is doing and how their leadership is denying Fulton voters the right to vote through incompetence and malfeasance. Georgia voters are fed up with failures in Fulton County.
Fulton County has a history of electoral problems, including long queues, ineffective reporting of election results and other issues. The June 2020 primary elections were particularly problematic, and the state electoral commission reached a consent order with the county, which included the appointment of an independent observer for the general election. The county has also taken many steps to make things better in November.
Observer Carter Jones, who had previously worked on elections in other parts of the world, observed county electoral processes from October to January and said he observed botched practices and mismanagement, but did not saw no evidence of “dishonesty, fraud or willful misconduct.” “
The Georgia State Election Council appointed a review committee in August to investigate Fulton County’s handling of the elections after receiving requests from Republican lawmakers who represent the county. Lawmakers have used a controversial provision in the state’s sweeping new election law to trigger a process that could ultimately lead to an election takeover in the county.
Any Fulton County resident who tries to vote in an upcoming election and is found not to be registered will be able to vote using a provisional ballot, and an investigation will follow, the county statement said.