By Zachary Stieber
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Monday called on the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate Fulton County after the county fired two workers for allegedly shredding municipal election-related voter applications.
“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, a Republican, said in a statement. “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.”
Two workers in the county allegedly shredded paper voter registration applications, all of which were received within the last two weeks, the county said in a separate statement on Monday.
Fulton County Commission Chairman Rob Pitts reported the situation to the office of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, a Democrat, for investigation upon learning of it, according to the county.
“Elections are the most important function of our government,” Pitts said. “We have committed to transparency and integrity.”
A preliminary review indicated that the workers checked out batches of applications for processing. Instead of processing the forms, they shredded them.
Raffensperger said approximately 300 applications were shredded. His office is probing the allegations.
But he wants the Department of Justice to probe the county, which has had a series of problems running elections in recent years, including counting ballots without oversight for over an hour during the 2020 election.
A Raffensperger-appointed monitor, monitoring the election, witnessed processes he described as “badly managed, sloppy, and chaotic,” though he alleged he did not see any fraud occur.
Fulton County officials have largely defended their practices.
George Republicans passed a bill earlier this year that would allow for a state takeover of the county if issues continue occurring. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, signed it into law.
The Georgia Election Board in August voted to appoint a bipartisan panel to review the management of elections in the county, which could lead to a takeover by the state.
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