State secretary turns up heat over election problems

by: Lori Geary Updated:

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ATLANTA —

Georgia's Secretary of State is turning up the heat on Fulton County elections officials after major problems during the primary.
   
There are questions concerning Fulton County's recount in the sheriff's race that may only be settled in court.
   
Channel 2's Lori Geary has been following the story all week and traveled to Athens to catch up with State Secretary Brian Kemp.  He told her, “I can tell you there’s urgency in the Secretary of State’s Office.”

The state's election chief has launched an intense investigation into the Fulton County elections office after hundreds of voters were put in the wrong districts. Fulton County also missed the state deadline to certify election results and turnout in some of the precincts did not make sense  --  one was reported as high as 3300 percent.

“I think there's certainly some concern about the way the recount was done,” Kemp told Geary on Thursday. 

He sent his team of investigators to observe the recount in the Fulton sheriff's race and said, “The recount is supposed to be done the same way the vote is done on Election Day.” 
 
But sheriff candidate Richard Lankford, who observed the process, also said it didn't happen that way. Geary confirmed with elections officials that Fulton County only recounted the master cards from precincts, not individual cards from voting machines. 
  
Lankford said, “We're going to object to the U.S. Department of Justice.  If we have to, we're going to have to move to have the recount thrown out and possibly void the election and call for a special election again if necessary.” 
   
Fulton County said it will launch its own independent investigation with an outside consultant.  Elections board chairman Roderick Edmond assured Geary all votes were accounted for during the process. 
   
He said assigning hundreds of people to the wrong districts was a human error and they’re trying to determine how that happened. 

There is no word yet on how much the independent investigation will cost Fulton County taxpayers.
   
Kemp said his investigation could take months, but he wants all the problems fixed before the November presidential election.