FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — The Fulton County Elections Director has fired two employees who are accused of shredding paper voter registration applications.
Richard Barron said that 300 applications related to municipal elections were shredded within the last two weeks.
Barron said other elections workers spotted the two employees shredding applications and alerted their supervisors.
State law requires election officials to preserve elections documents related to primary or general elections for 24 months after the election.
Fulton County Commission Chairman Robb Pitts immediately reported the case to the office of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis for investigation. Barron has also referred the actions of the employees to the Secretary of State’s Office.
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“Elections are the most important function of our government,” said Chairman Pitts. “We have committed to transparency and integrity.”
Pitts also issued a statement praising Barron’s actions, calling them proactive and transparent. He added that “any attempt to portray it otherwise is more spin from desperate politicians seeking to malign Fulton County for political gain.”
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An investigation showed that the employees may have checked out batches of applications for processing but they shredded some of the forms. Fellow employees reported the incident to their supervisor Friday morning. The employees, who have not been identified, were fired the same day.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger called on the U.S. Department of Justice to look into the 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. “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.”
It’s unclear what criteria the employees used to select the ballots that were shredded.
Officials held a news conference on Monday but did not answer questions from reporters. No additional information was provided.
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Anyone who tries to vote in an upcoming election but is not registered will be able to vote on a provisional ballot, and further investigations will follow.
Fulton County and other counties across Georgia are preparing to begin early voting on Tuesday.
Any Fulton County resident who has questions may contact the Fulton County Department of Registration & Elections at 404-612-7030.
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