Georgia Republicans set process in motion for state takeover of Fulton County elections
Georgia Republicans called for a performance review of the Fulton County's top electoral officer, the first step towards a possible state takeover of contests in the Atlanta area.
A group of two dozen lawmakers signed a letter received by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution requesting an investigation into Fulton's electoral chief Richard Barron, who is facing backlash over his handling of the 2020 election in the Democratic stronghold .
“We ask them to simply correct a record that they say can be easily corrected. Is it or not? The Georgian people deserve answers, ”wrote Republican Senate President Pro Tempore Butch Miller in the letter.
According to a Georgian law passed this year, the state electoral committee can dismiss the electoral leadership of the district after a performance review or a similar investigation if it determines "non-compliance, administrative offense or gross negligence in conducting the elections" in at least two elections within two years after which a Provisional Superintendent would be appointed.
But first two state representatives and two state senators from the district must support the application for a performance review.
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When the state Senate hit that threshold, Miller stated, "We have every reason to believe that the required number of Fulton's House delegation will respond, triggering the performance review."
At least two Republicans from Georgia House in Fulton County - House Speaker Pro Tempore Jan Jones and State Representative Chuck Martin - told AJC they would also call for a performance review, suggesting there is ample support across the legislature .
Fulton Commission chairman Robb Pitts upheld the letter from the state senators, calling it the "first official step in the process." He also said the county will "fight to the end, whatever the outcome."
President Joe Biden received nearly 73% of the vote in Fulton County, while former President Donald Trump was preferred by 26% of the population. Biden received 243,904 additional votes in the district. Trump lost the state of Georgia by roughly 12,000 votes, and the former president's Republican allies have tried to challenge the vote count across the state, particularly in Fulton County, after post-election officials were slower to report votes.
Fulton County's two separate recounts confirmed the balance sheets, but more reasons have emerged in the past few weeks to question the process.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger called for the dismissal of Barron and Ralph Jones, Fulton County's chief of registry, after it was revealed that nearly 200 postal ballot papers were scanned twice after digital images of the paperwork were released under Peach State's new electoral law. There is no indication that the double-counted ballots affected the final total votes for Trump or Biden, although the duplicates would have given Biden 27 more votes if tabulated.
"Fulton County's ongoing failures have gone on long enough without accountability," Raffensperger wrote in a tweet. “Rick Barron and Ralph Jones, Fulton's chief registrar, must be dismissed immediately and removed from Fulton's election line. Fulton's constituents and the people of Georgia deserve better. "
This month Georgia House spokesman David Ralston called for an "independent investigation" in Fulton County on the same day that Republican Senator Burt Jones, a Republican on the Senate government's oversight committee, sent a letter to committee chairman Senator Marty Harbin, asked Raffensperger to testify about the election result.
VoterGa, a group that organized a lawsuit to obtain high-resolution rescans of ballot papers and personal review of 147,000 unsealed postal ballot papers, said duplicates were just one form of evidence in the 2020 election process suggesting competitive fraud.
“If we can find this in Fulton County, we will probably find it all over the state. The question is, why did it happen? "Said David Cross, a member of the group contesting the election results." The simple fact that it happened and we found it here means it probably happened elsewhere. "
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Trump made headlines after November because he asked Raffensperger to find the votes necessary to cement his election victory in the once red-brown state, which led to criminal investigations being initiated in February.
A report by an independent election observer who monitored the November elections in Fulton, which includes much of Atlanta, found that the district's elections were neglected but no fraud detected. Raffensperger opened an investigation last month into the handling of paperwork in Fulton County related to the use of mailboxes for the 2020 election.
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Tags: News, Georgia, 2020 Elections, Election Fraud, Atlanta
Original author: Jake Dima
Original Location: Georgia Republicans have initiated a process for the state to take over the Fulton County elections
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