Fulton County

State and local officials preparing for ‘most secure Ga. election ever’

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — State and local elections officials say election security is among their top priorities as voters head to the polls on Tuesday.

The Secretary of State’s Investigations Division says their team will be spread across the state to be better prepared to pounce on poll issues that could potentially impact election integrity.

“We’ll have all of our investigators and our inspectors out there doing poll inspections and being out there to deploy, if needed, at certain locations,” Chief Sara Koth told Channel 2 Investigative Reporter Mark Winne.

Koth says they have about 50 active investigations into early voting, most of which are minor issues like clerical errors or lines that were too long.

[DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for alerts as news breaks]

A new system, including a new Pollpad, is making its debut on Tuesday in some of Georgia’s counties that serve about 45% of the state’s eligible voters. The pad is meant to allow problems to be fixed in a matter of minutes, rather than hours.

“We have 159 counties. Seventy-seven of those counties will be running the new Pollpads,” State Elections Director Blake Evans said.

If a major problem does arise, Interim Deputy Secretary of State Gabriel Sterling says senior elections officials will be with representatives of partners from the Georgia National Guard and Georgia State Patrol.

“Given what we’ve seen so far, [the chances of deploying the National Guard or GSP are] remote, but we’d rather plan for the worst and be prepared then not use it than not be ready,” Sterling told Winne.


Fulton County Sheriff Pat Labat says that Georgia law gives sheriffs major responsibilities for polling place security. He says he will be working with Fulton County elections, police and marshals department.

“We have partnered with the elections team and the director, Ms. Williams, in making sure that we provide safety and security around our election polls,” Sheriff Labat said.

Sterling says this election is on track to be the most secure Georgia election in history thanks to the paper ballot system and the Pollpads, as well as better training.

[SIGN UP: WSB-TV Daily Headlines Newsletter]