Georgia’s Raffensperger slams Fulton County after ballot applications shredded: ‘Long way to go’
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger slammed Fulton County after hundreds of voter registration applications were shredded ahead of municipal elections next month, saying the county has “a long way to go,” while maintaining that the state’s new election law ensures “accountability measures.”
In an interview with Fox News, Raffensperger addressed the matter, which led to two workers in Fulton County being fired after they were accused of shredding the nearly 300 ballot applications. Raffensperger has since called for a Justice Department investigation.
“Fulton County still has a long way to go in terms of shoring up confidence in our elections,” Raffensperger told Fox News, noting that the county is notorious for “management issues and “processes that are very sloppy.”
“Voters of Fulton County deserve better,” he said.
Raffensperger said there is currently an ongoing review process into the matter by a panel consisting of the general counsel from the Georgia secretary of state’s office, a Democratic election board member, and a Republican election board member.
“It will be a thorough and thoughtful process,” he said.
In a press release this week, Raffensperger said that there have been “20 years of documented failure in Fulton County elections.”
“Georgians are tired of waiting to see what the next embarrassing revelation will be,” he said in a statement, urging the Justice Department to “take a long look at what Fulton County is doing and how their leadership disenfranchises Fulton voters through incompetence and malfeasance.”
“I fought hard to put an end to this stuff,” Raffensperger said, adding that “finally, with SB202, we have accountability measures put in place.”
Georgia’s new law requires voter ID for absentee voting rather than relying on signature matching for verification; limits ballot drop boxes to one per county or one per 100,000 voters; and expands early voting days and standardized early voting hours to a minimum of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and a maximum of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The legislation also barred outside groups from passing out food and water to those in line, which Republicans say can be used as a method to illegally influence people waiting to vote.
The law also handed more election authority to the GOP-controlled state legislature. It states that the General Assembly is to select the chair of the state elections board, rather than the board being chaired by the Georgia secretary of state. It also shortens runoffs from nine weeks to four.
The state election board can also now investigate county election boards and has the power to suspend county election superintendents – though the board can only suspend four at a time.
The Justice Department filed a lawsuit over the summer against Georgia for its election law.
The provisions the DOJ are targeting include a ban on government entities handing out unsolicited absentee ballots; fines on civic groups, places of worship and advocacy organizations for distributing follow-up absentee ballots; and shortening absentee ballot deadlines to 11 days before Election Day.
Raffensperger went on to slam the Justice Department, saying that it is currently “filled with liberal activists” and called their lawsuit “politically motivated.”
“We are in the mainstream of election processes,” he said, adding that he is going to “continue fighting” for election integrity and security.
Meanwhile, the final lawsuit in Georgia challenging the results of the 2020 presidential election was dismissed in court Wednesday.
“While no election is perfect, there was no widespread fraud of illegal voting to overturn the election,” Raffensperger told Fox News, reacting to the dismissal. “The truth is on our side and the courts back us.”