sunny.png
Saturday May 15th, 2021 3:47PM

Board refers county's Election Day issues for further review

By The Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia's state election board on Thursday referred Election Day problems in the state's most populous county during the June primary to the attorney general's office for further review.

The referral, which was decided by a 2-1 vote of the board, followed a presentation of an investigation by the secretary of state's office into problems in Fulton County during the June 9 primary. The allegations include polling places opening late, inadequate training of poll workers and failing to provide necessary Election Day forms to polling places.

The referral comes a week after the board referred the results of an investigation into the county's handling of absentee ballots during the primary to the attorney general. That investigation concluded that the county had failed to process some absentee ballot applications and send requested ballots to voters.

Amanda Clark Palmer, an attorney for Fulton County, said county election officials acknowledge that there were problems, many of them caused by the coronavirus pandemic. But she said the county has taken substantive steps since then to make sure those aren't repeated.

“This board should vote to close and dismiss the matter, rather than taking any other action," Clark Palmer told the board. "And to be fair and just, you should also thank the hard work of the Fulton County elections board and their staff.”

Long and slow-moving lines — with some voters waiting up to six hours — resulted from too many voters being assigned to the same polling place and insufficient poll worker training, among other issues, secretary of state’s office investigator Frances Watson told the board.

Forty-five polling places changed location for the June primary, 37 because of COVID-19. That created confusion for voters, some of whom did not receive notification of the change in the mail until after Election Day, Watson said.

Equipment problems included glitches in the machines used to check in voters, voting machines failing to power on or needing to be reset and ballot scanners jamming or losing power, she said.

Board member David Worley, a Democrat who voted not to refer the allegations to the attorney general, said many of the problems on Election Day seemed to be related to the virus outbreak and that it appeared Fulton County handled them as well as it possibly could.

The problems weren't unique to Fulton County, he said, noting that 20 other counties also had to keep polling sites open past 7 p.m. because they had opened late.

It's generally been the board's practice to take into account how responsive a county has been, how willing it is to correct problems, Worley said.

“I do think that Fulton County has been very forthright, very cooperative in dealing with these problems,” he said. “They certainly are taking these matters very seriously and working very hard to make sure these issues don't come up again in November.”

Worley tried to have several of the alleged violations dismissed before the vote and did succeed in convincing his fellow board members that some of the alleged violations merited a letter of instruction mailed to the county rather than referral to the attorney general.

But he failed to convince them to dismiss other allegations, including inadequate poll worker training and delayed openings of polling places. He expressed concern that the board was putting itself in a position to have to make a referral to the attorney general's office any time polling sites open late.

The other board members present, Matthew Mashburn and Anh Le, dismissed that concern, saying the facts of each individual case dictate referral.

After its own legal review, the attorney general’s office can try the case before an administrative law judge for an opinion or work out a negotiated consent order, spokeswoman Katie Byrd said after last week's referral.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Elections, General Election News, AP Online - Georgia News, AP Online Headlines - Georgia News
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
AP Explains: Novichok that sickened Navalny a Cold War relic
Novichok, a deadly nerve agent that has left Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny in a coma and nearly killed a former Russian spy and his daughter in 2018, was the product of a highly secretive Soviet chemical weapons program
1:00PM ( 4 minutes ago )
The Latest: Pironkova pulls off upset to advance at Open
Tsvetana Pironkova has pulled off an upset to reach the third round at the U.S. Open, her first tournament in more than three years
12:56PM ( 8 minutes ago )
Hands up, masks on: High school students face whole new year
Children are slowly returning to school in England, most of them for the first time in six months because of the coronavirus pandemic
12:43PM ( 20 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: Biden trip can help Kenosha heal, official says
Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul says he thinks former Vice President Joe Biden can help heal Kenosha, Wisconsin in ways that President Donald Trump’s stop in the city did not
11:29AM ( 1 hour ago )
Trump faces pushback for urging people to vote twice as test
President Donald Trump is facing a backlash for urging voters in North Carolina to vote by mail and then try to vote again in person to test the mail-in ballot system in the Nov. 3 election
10:52AM ( 2 hours ago )
Ex-Michigan Gov. Snyder is latest Republican to back Biden
Former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is backing Joe Biden for president, becoming the latest high-profile Republican to support the Democratic nominee over President Donald Trump
10:11AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Elections
Lawsuit seeks to ban Kanye West from Arizona ballot
An Arizona resident has asked a judge to bar Kanye West from appearing on Arizona’s Nov. 3 ballot
9:29PM ( 15 hours ago )
Biden: Trump ignores pandemic, stokes unrest, solves neither
Joe Biden is calling the struggle to reopen U.S. schools amid the coronavirus a “national emergency” and accusing President Donald Trump of ignoring the issue as he stokes unrest in Wisconsin and elsewhere
8:47PM ( 16 hours ago )
House subpoenas embattled Postal Service leader over delays
The House Oversight Committee has subpoenaed Postmaster General Louis DeJoy for records about widespread delays to mail delivery
8:10PM ( 16 hours ago )
General Election News
Atlanta United's Pity Martinez heading to Saudi Arabian club
Atlanta United is in the process of selling midfielder Pity Martinez to a Saudi Arabian club
9:34AM ( 3 hours ago )
Gase, Marrone, Quinn among NFL coaches sitting on hot seats
The heat is on and the games haven’t even kicked off yet
2:04AM ( 11 hours ago )
Duvall follows Ozuna with 3 HRs; Braves complete sweep
Adam Duvall hit three home runs a night after teammate Marcell Ozuna did it, making them the first set of teammates in major league history to perform the feat in consecutive games as the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves beat the stumbling Boston Red Sox 7-5 to complete a three-game sweep
12:35AM ( 12 hours ago )
AP Online - Georgia News
AP Online Headlines - Georgia News
AP Explains: Novichok that sickened Navalny a Cold War relic
Novichok, a deadly nerve agent that has left Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny in a coma and nearly killed a former Russian spy and his daughter in 2018, was the product of a highly secretive Soviet chemical weapons program
1:00PM ( 4 minutes ago )
Hands up, masks on: High school students face whole new year
Children are slowly returning to school in England, most of them for the first time in six months because of the coronavirus pandemic
12:43PM ( 20 minutes ago )
The Latest: Biden in Kenosha to talk to Jacob Blake's family
Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden has arrived in Wisconsin, where he’ll meet with relatives of Jacob Blake in Kenosha and hold a discussion with business figures, civic leaders and law enforcement officials
12:32PM ( 31 minutes ago )
Czech Senate president meets Taiwan leader; Beijing protests
The Czech Senate president has met with Taiwanese leader Tsai Ing-wen during a rare trip by a foreign dignitary to the self-ruled democratic island that rival China called an “open provocation.”
12:16PM ( 47 minutes ago )
Turkey: Russia to hold live-fire exercises in Mediterranean
Turkey has announced that Russia will hold live-fire naval exercises in the eastern Mediterranean
12:11PM ( 53 minutes ago )