Politics|Potential G.O.P. Takeover of Atlanta-Area Election Board Inches Forward
Republicans successful Georgia took a measurement toward gaining power implicit elections successful Fulton County, a Democratic bastion.
Aug. 18, 2021Updated 11:25 p.m. ET
The Georgia State Election Board connected Wednesday appointed a majority-Republican sheet to reappraisal the show of the Fulton County committee of elections, different measurement toward a imaginable Republican takeover of the predetermination strategy successful the biggest Democratic region successful the state.
The three-person sheet volition see 2 Republicans and 1 Democrat: Rickey Kittle, a Republican subordinate of the Catoosa County predetermination board; Stephen Day, a Democratic subordinate of the Gwinnett County predetermination board; and Ryan Germany, a lawyer for the bureau of Brad Raffensperger, the Republican caput of state.
The moves surrounding the Fulton County predetermination committee person travel arsenic Republican-controlled legislatures crossed the state space for greater powerfulness implicit predetermination administration, often seeking to portion it from predetermination officials and springiness it to partisan lawmakers. Those efforts travel arsenic erstwhile President Donald J. Trump continues to dispersed lies and conspiracy theories astir the 2020 election.
Republicans person besides pushed to restructure galore region predetermination boards successful Georgia, perchance allowing much section G.O.P. officials to instrumentality implicit positions.
The State Election Board was required to name the sheet reviewing Fulton County nether the Georgia voting instrumentality that Republicans passed successful March. Republican authorities lawmakers who correspond the region requested the reappraisal past month.
Fulton County, which is the largest successful the authorities and includes overmuch of Atlanta, has a agelong past of struggles with elections, including a disastrous superior successful June 2020 successful which voting lines lasted for hours.
But Democrats crossed the authorities person denounced the propulsion for a show reappraisal there, noting that determination was nary grounds of wide elector fraud past twelvemonth and that the predetermination results were affirmed by 3 recounts and audits. Democrats presumption the petition arsenic a governmental stunt astatine best, and astatine worst a partisan takeover successful the astir consequential region for their enactment successful Georgia.
President Biden carried Fulton County successful November with 73 percent of the ballot and much than 380,000 votes. It is location to the largest fig of voters of colour successful the state. Mr. Trump and his Republican allies person falsely denied Mr. Biden’s constrictive triumph successful Georgia, which has agelong been solidly Republican but past twelvemonth tilted to the Democrats successful the statesmanlike predetermination and 2 Senate runoffs.
Voting rights groups criticized the reappraisal sheet — each achromatic and predominantly Republican — arsenic unrepresentative of Fulton County.
“Fulton County voters merit amended than this,” said Lauren Groh-Wargo, the main enforcement of Fair Fight Action, a voting rights radical successful Georgia founded by Stacey Abrams, the erstwhile Democratic campaigner for governor.
The reappraisal sheet is 1 of respective provisions successful Georgia’s caller voting law that laic the groundwork for the takeover of predetermination medication by partisan lawmakers.
But immoderate imaginable alteration successful power of the Fulton County predetermination committee would beryllium a drawn-out process, astir apt taking months fixed the galore steps required by the voting law.
Mr. Raffensperger, the caput of state, indicated his enactment for the panel, writing connected Twitter, “I person been saying for a agelong clip that the authorities needs the authorization to measurement successful erstwhile counties person consistently failed their voters.”
“I’m assured that the show reappraisal squad volition bash a bully job, and I anticipation Fulton volition cooperate with this process,” helium said.