Georgia election workers fired for shredding voter registration forms

The heavily Democratic Fulton County Elections Office said on Monday that two employees were fired for shredding voter registration form...

The heavily Democratic Fulton County Elections Office said on Monday that two employees were fired for shredding voter registration forms, likely fueling a Republicans-led probe into the office that critics are calling politically motivated.

Fulton County Electoral Board workers were sacked on Friday after other workers saw them destroy registration forms awaiting processing ahead of the November local election, County Electoral Officer Richard Barron said .

The county attorney and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, the state’s election official, have been asked to investigate the matter, Fulton County Commission Chairman Robb Pitts said in a statement.

But it was Mr Raffensperger who first exposed the allegations of shredded registration forms, issuing a scathing press release demanding that the Justice Department investigate “incompetence and malfeasance” within the agency. “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,” he said.

His statement only underscored the political implications of the document shredding fee, which almost certainly would have been charged less at any other election office. Fulton County officials did not say how many forms were shredded, but Mr Raffensperger estimated the total to be around 300 in a county with 800,000 registered voters.

While accusations of wrongdoing surfaced on Friday, it was not clear when the actual destruction of the registration forms could have taken place.

Mr Raffensperger, who gained national attention for rejecting former President Donald J. Trump’s request to “find” enough ballots to undo President Biden’s narrow victory in the state, faces a tough primary race next spring against a rival endorsed by Mr. Trump. The Fulton County Election Office, meanwhile, has become the object of fury from Trump supporters who baselessly claim that Mr. Biden’s victory in the state was illegitimate.

Some supporters are suing to re-examine the presidential vote in Fulton County, which includes a large part of the metro Atlanta area and where 73% of voters favored Mr Biden. Georgia’s statewide vote has been counted three times without any evidence of fraud.

The state’s Republican-dominated legislature this spring approved a law that gives it effective control over the state election commission and empowers the commission to investigate complaints from lawmakers about local election bodies. Fulton County was quickly selected for an investigation that could eventually replace the electoral board with a temporary superintendent who would have broad powers to oversee the vote.

Voting rights advocates and Democrats across the state have touted the investigation as a first step towards a pro-Trump takeover of the electoral machine in the county most crucial to Democratic hopefuls in the upcoming election.

“I don’t think there is another state in the Union that has a State Election Council with the power to turn a non-partisan electoral office into a partisan arm of the secretary of state’s office,” said Mr. Barron, Chief Electoral Officer for Fulton County. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The county’s election performance was mixed. Last year’s primary elections were plagued by long lines and county elections have long been the subject of complaints. A report by a state-appointed observer concluded that the elections there had been “botched”, but found no evidence of “dishonesty, fraud or intentional embezzlement”.

The electoral council cited recent improvements, such as revised training manuals and newly hired electoral managers, as evidence that it is handling complaints. But Monday’s disclosure gives critics new ammunition as the upcoming November election, for the mayor of Atlanta and the city council, is seen as a test of the council’s competence.

Mary Norwood, a Fulton resident who narrowly lost two races for mayor of Atlanta, is a longtime critic of the board. She said she supported an investigation into the shredding allegations.

“If you have two employees who are fired by the Chief Electoral Officer, it certainly prompts investigation and analysis,” she said. “It is essential that we get this right. “

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Newsrust - US Top News: Georgia election workers fired for shredding voter registration forms
Georgia election workers fired for shredding voter registration forms
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