Georgia election workers fired, accused of shredding voting applications
Two Georgia election workers from the state’s most populous county were fired on Friday for allegedly shredding voting applications in the past two weeks.
Fulton County revealed in a statement on Monday that, according to a preliminary review, two employees may have checked out batches of applications for processing but allegedly shredded a portion of the forms instead of fully processing them.
According to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R), 300 municipal election-related applications were allegedly destroyed.
Fellow employees reported the conduct to their supervisor on Friday morning, according to Fulton County. The two election workers were fired that day.
The illicit behavior reportedly occurred within the last two weeks, according to Fulton County Registration and Elections Director Richard Barron.
Fulton County is scheduled to hold elections to elect a mayor, City Council members and other municipal officials on Nov. 2, according to The Associated Press. The voter registration deadline for those races was Oct. 4.
Raffensperger, in response to the report that the election workers were fired for allegedly shredding applications, called on the Justice Department to investigate Fulton County elections. He said his office has already started a probe into the new allegations.
“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 a statement.
“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,” he added.
According to Raffensperger, Georgia state law requires election officials to maintain documents related to primary or general elections for 24 months after voters head to the polls.
Voter registration applications in the state do not list the party Georgia residents identify as because the electorate does not enroll by party, according to the AP.
Fulton County spokeswoman Jessica Corbitt said it is not immediately clear if the 300 voter registration applications being scrutinized were lost.
“Normally, processing a voter registration application involves entering them in the state system, updating them, verifying their information,” she said, according to the AP. “That is the matter that’s under investigation — was that process completed.”
The county said that upon hearing about the shredding of voter registration applications, Fulton County Commission Chairman Robb Pitts immediately reported it to Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis for investigation.
“Elections are the most important function of our government,” Pitts said in a statement. “We have committed to transparency and integrity.”
The reports of shredded voter registration applications in Fulton County are the latest in a series of difficulties the county’s elections have faced in recent years, including long lines and inefficient reporting strategies, according to the AP.
Fulton County is already under investigation for its elections practices after a State Election Board voted unanimously in August to create a bipartisan review panel to probe the handling of elections in the county.
Additionally, Raffensperger forced Fulton County into a consent order after the 2020 election, which required that a state-appointed monitor supervise its elections practices, according to the secretary of state’s office.
That monitor, according to Raffensperger, did not find any fraud in the election but did point out “significant mismanagement issues in Fulton County’s elections processes.”