As if there wasn’t enough drama surrounding American elections, a couple of election officials in Fulton County, Georgia, have been fired for allegedly shredding voter registration applications ahead of a municipal election.
Preliminary information indicates that the employees checked out batches of applications for processing, and they are alleged to have shredded some of the forms, the Fulton County statement says. Fellow employees reported the alleged actions to their supervisor Friday morning, and the two employees were fired that day.
The county statement says the applications were received in the past two weeks. Fulton County includes most of the city of Atlanta, where voters are set to go to the polls on November 2 to elect a mayor, City Council members, and other municipal officials. The deadline to register to vote in that election was Oct. 4.
“Normally, processing a voter registration application involves entering them in the state system, updating them, verifying their information,” she said. “That is the matter that’s under investigation — was that process completed.”
Since Georgia voters do not register with a political party indicated, that avenue is not a motivation for such an action. Whatever the case is, the matter has been reported for investigation and kicked up the chain of responsibility.
“Fulton County called the secretary of state’s office. We told them about this and we asked them to investigate,” Corbitt said.
“Elections are the most important function of our government,” Pitts said in the statement. “We have committed to transparency and integrity.”
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican who has long criticized election operations in the heavily Democratic county, said in a news release that his office has launched an investigation and he called on the U.S. Department of Justice to look into the county’s elections.
“After 20 years of documented failure in Fulton County elections, Georgians are tired of waiting to see what the next embarrassing revelation will be,” Raffensperger said in the release. “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. The voters of Georgia are sick of Fulton County’s failures.”
Great, but even if multiple investigations can fix this issue sometime in the future, people who registered to vote ahead of the coming election still may be denied their right to do so due to the actions of workers in the election system.
That history of problems in Fulton County is going to take more than investigations to resolve issues that seem to be systemic and never result in the firings of those in charge, just their underlings.
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