Georgia Election Workers Sacked for Allegedly Shredding Voter Registration Forms
Fulton County, which includes the densely-populated capital city of Atlanta, Georgia, accounts for some 11% of the US state's electorate. The heavily Democratic county was thrust into the national spotlight during the 2020 presidential election season when reports of voter suppression were met with accusations of voter fraud and election meddling.
The director of Fulton County Registration and Elections, Richard Barron, revealed in a Monday news release that two department employees were terminated after a preliminary investigation determined that hundreds of paper voter registration applications were destroyed before the county could properly process the forms.
The same-day termination occurred on October 8, after fellow elections employees claimed the accused had failed to fully process multiple batches of paper voter registration applications and, in some cases, simply shredded the documents.
"Elections are the most important function of our government," said Fulton County Commission Chairman Robb Pitts, who reported the matter to Fulton County District Attorney's Office. "We have committed to transparency and integrity."
Barron has reported the alleged actions of the employees to Georgia's Office of Investigations, which is led by the office of Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R).
The Republican state official announced this week that a probe has been launched regarding the matter, which is believed to have taken place over a two-week period and involved around 300 forms.
"After 20 years of documented failure in Fulton County elections, Georgians are tired of waiting to see what the next embarrassing revelation will be," the Republican Georgia Secretary of State said in a quoted statement.
Raffensperger also urged the US Department of Justice to take a closer look at the heavily Democratic county and what he claimed were its history of election issues.
"The Department of Justice needs to take a long look at what Fulton County is doing and how their leadership disenfranchises Fulton voters through incompetence and malfeasance," he said. "The voters of Georgia are sick of Fulton County's failures."
The Republican state official previously criticized the county's handling of the 2020 primary election, noting in June 2020 that the counties of DeKalb and Fulton were the only Georgia districts reporting voter issues at the time.
"It has nothing to do with what we’re doing in the rest of Georgia," Raffensperger asserted.
At the same time, Black and other disenfranchised voting blocks in impacted counties attributed their primary election issues and allegations of voter suppression to the Georgia Secretary of State, as his office is in charge of poll worker training and the allocation of voting machines in the state.
Following voter integrity concerns with the 2020 primary election, Fulton County entered into a consent order with Georgia's State Election Border that, in part, appointed an independent monitor for the general election in November 2020.
Carter Jones, the appointed monitor at the time, determined that although Fulton County election officials demonstrated what he could consider poor management and sloppy practices, there were no findings of "any dishonesty, fraud or intentional malfeasance."