The office has come under fire from Trump supporters who passed comprehensive legislation that could lead to a takeover of the Republican-controlled state legislature.
The election office in Fulton County, the Democratic Party of Georgia, said on Monday that two workers were fired for tearing up voter registration forms, which is likely to intensify a Republican-led investigation into the office, which critics described as politically motivated.
Fulton County Election Commission staff were fired on Friday because other employees saw them destroy registration forms that were waiting to be processed before the November local elections, the county election director Richard Barron said.
Fulton County Committee Chairman Rob Pitts said in a statement that both the County District Attorney and Secretary of State Brad Ravenspeg were required to investigate the matter.
But Mr. Ravensperger first disclosed the allegations of shredding the registration form and issued a fierce press release requesting the Department of Justice to investigate the agency’s “incompetence and malfeasance”. “After recording 20 years of defeat in Fulton County elections, Georgians are tired of waiting for the next embarrassing revelation,” he said.
His statement only emphasized the political impact of document shredding costs, and it is almost certain that such costs will not be affected in any other election office. Fulton County officials did not specify how many forms were torn up, but Mr. Ravensberg estimated the total number of a county with 800,000 voters at about 300.
Although allegations of misconduct surfaced on Friday, it is unclear when the registration form was actually destroyed.
Mr. Ravensberg has won national attention for rejecting former President Donald J. Trump’s request to “find” enough votes to overturn President Biden’s weak victory in the state. He will face Mr. Trump next spring. Difficult primaries for supporting competitors. At the same time, the Fulton County Election Office has become an object of anger among Trump supporters, who baselessly claimed that Mr. Biden’s victory in the state was illegal.
Some supporters filed a lawsuit calling for another review of the presidential election in Fulton County, including the large metropolis of Atlanta, and 73% of voters support Mr. Biden. The statewide vote in Georgia has been counted three times, and there is zero evidence of fraud.
The Republican-led state legislature approved a piece of legislation this spring that enables it to effectively control the state election commission and authorizes the commission to investigate complaints made by lawmakers against local electoral agencies. Fulton County was quickly selected for investigation, and eventually the election committee could be replaced by an interim leader who has broad powers to oversee voting.
Voting advocates and Democrats across the state view the investigation as the first step in pro-Trump’s takeover of the county’s electoral system, which is critical to the Democratic Party’s hopes in future elections.
“I don’t think there is another state in the league that has the power to turn the nonpartisan election office into a partisan department of the Secretary of State’s office,” Fulton County election director Mr. Barron told the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
The county’s performance in the election was mixed. There was a long queue in the primary election last year, and county-level elections have long been the subject of complaints. A report by a state-appointed ombudsman concluded that the elections there were “sloppy”, but no evidence of “dishonesty, fraud or deliberate malfeasance” was found.
The Election Commission cited recent improvements, such as revised training manuals and newly hired election managers, as evidence that it is handling complaints. But as the upcoming November elections for the Atlanta mayor and city council are seen as a test of the board’s ability, Monday’s disclosure provides critics with new ammunition.
Mary Norwood, a resident of Fulton, lost two games with the mayor of Atlanta by a narrow margin and has long been a critic of the board. She said she was in favor of investigating the crushing allegations.
“If you have two employees fired by the Returning Officer, it will definitely trigger investigation and analysis,” she said. “It is vital that we do this.”
Post time: Oct-13-2021