Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Election workers in Fulton County, Georgia count votes in November 2021.

Election workers count Fulton County ballots at State Farm Arena on November 4, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo: Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)

GOP State Officials Take Step Toward Overseeing Elections in Georgia's Heavily Democratic Fulton County

"Voters deserve better," said one advocacy group.

Julia Conley

Voting rights groups sounded alarms on Wednesday after Georgia election officials voted to investigate the election's management in Fulton County—a step that could bring the Republican-led state closer to overseeing elections in the heavily Democratic county.
Fair Fight Action—the Atlanta-based organization that helped turn out Democratic voters in the state last year—noted that under Georgia's sweeping new voter suppression law, which was passed in March, the Republican-controlled election board selected the county with the most voters of color in the state to appoint its first investigatory panel. 
"Fulton voters deserve better," tweeted Fair Fight Action, which was founded in 2018 by former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.
Under the law, which was signed by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, lawmakers are permitted to request performance reviews and initiate state takeovers of local election boards, starting with the establishment of panels like the one now being assembled in Fulton County. 

"It is not surprising that the Republican-controlled General Assembly has targeted Fulton County, Georgia's largest county and home to the greatest number of voters of color in the state."
—Fair Fight Action

The bipartisan panel will have 90 days to issue a written report about the county's election results, long lines, and reports that some voters did not receive their absentee ballots. The report could give the state election board the authority to appoint a temporary superintendent to oversee vote counting and polling place operations in Fulton County. 
"It is not surprising that the Republican-controlled General Assembly has targeted Fulton County, Georgia’s largest county and home to the greatest number of voters of color in the state," Fair Fight Action said in a testimony opposing the creation of a panel. "This takeover process may be just the first step in the General Assembly's anti-democratic attempts to impose partisan control of elections in certain jurisdictions."
Sara Tindall Ghazal, a Democratic appointee to the majority-Republican election board, said Fulton County residents have for years reported problems with elections that have kept them from voting, but noted, "The narrative driving this pressure [to assemble a panel] has been influenced by disinformation surrounding the November 2020 election."
President Joe Biden overwhelmingly won the election in Georgia, and the tally was subjected to three recounts—by machine and by hand—as former President Donald Trump and other Republicans claimed the results were fraudulent. A state election monitor found that no fraud had taken place. 
A poll by Yahoo News/YouGov earlier this month found that two-thirds of Republican voters nationwide still believe Trump's continued claims that he rightfully won the election.
Robb Pitts, chairman of the Fulton County Commission, said the push to investigate the election was driven by the former president's "Big Lie."
State Sen. Jen Jordan, a Democrat who is running for attorney general in Georgia, called the move "dangerous" and "legally dubious."
Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who is running to replace Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Penn.), said the panel is an attempt by GOP election officials to ensure that Democrats "vote under terms set by Republicans."

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Bodycam Footage Shows Ohio Police Shooting Jayland Walker 60+ Times

"The Department of Justice needs to step in to investigate immediately," said former Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner.

Common Dreams staff ·

'Impeach Justice Clarence Thomas' Petition Nears 1 Million Signatures

"He has shown he cannot be an impartial justice and is more concerned with covering up his wife's coup attempts than the health of the Supreme Court," reads the petition.

Jake Johnson ·

'Tipping Point of No Return' Feared as Amazon Rainforest Fires Surge

"Up to now, the Biden administration has only legitimized the Brazilian government's anti-Indigenous and anti-environmental agenda," said Greenpeace USA.

Jake Johnson ·

Biden Urged to Embrace Windfall Tax as Exxon Says Profits Doubled in Second Quarter

"It's time for the president to demand that Congress pass a windfall profits tax on Big Oil and use the revenue to provide rebates to consumers NOW!" wrote Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Jake Johnson ·

Texas Supreme Court Allows Century-Old Abortion Ban to Take Effect

"Extremist politicians are on a crusade to force Texans into pregnancy and childbirth against their will, no matter how devastating the consequences."

Jake Johnson ·

Common Dreams Logo