New secretary of state says 'there is pressure' in this chaotic election

ATLANTA — In her first interview with any Atlanta news channel, newly appointed Secretary of State Robyn Crittenden is sitting down with Channel 2 Action News to talk about the flurry of federal lawsuits her office faces and the mounting pressure the office has seen from voter advocacy groups.

Channel 2 investigative reporter Aaron Diamant has been working to speak with Crittenden since she was named to the office last Thursday by Gov. Nathan Deal.

In an exclusive interview, Crittenden said she is feeling the pressure but maintains she will uphold the law in this election.

“I was extremely honored for Gov. Deal to call me and to have so much confidence and faith in me and the work that I’ve done over the years,” Crittenden said.

Now the state’s top elections official, Crittenden took over the office amid a political firestorm.

“There is pressure,” Crittenden told Diamant. “It’s a great responsibility placed on me being in this role at this time.”


Crittenden’s predecessor, Republican Brian Kemp, has declared himself the winner in last Tuesday’s gubernatorial election, while Democratic challenger Stacey Abrams continues her fight to find more votes.

On Tuesday, Crittenden sent voters the same message she gave her staff the day Kemp resigned and she was sworn in.

“It was my goal to approach this work the same as I’ve approached all the work that I’ve ever done in government and other places as well, with integrity, with transparency and with compliance with the law,” Crittenden said.

Late Monday night, a federal judge ordered the Secretary of State’s office to set up a hotline where voters, who cast provisional ballots, can check to see if they got counted.

The judge also ordered either Crittenden’s office, or county elections officials, to review the eligibility of voters who cast provisional ballots.

Crittenden told Diamant that her office is finalizing the mechanism to do that.

“We’re looking at possibly having the counties do it,” Crittenden said.

While county elections offices had until 5 p.m. Tuesday to certify their results, the judge ruled the state can’t certify results until at least Friday.

“I can’t speculate as to when it will be done. I can commit that the process will be completed and at the point that I’m ready to certify, I will have acted with integrity and transparency,” Crittenden said.

By law, the state elections board, which Crittenden now chairs, has until Nov. 20 to certify the election.

Crittenden told Diamant the voter hotline should be up and running soon.