by Jake Dima, Breaking News Reporter | July 15, 2021
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger demanded the firing of two high-profile election officials in Fulton County, Georgia, on Thursday after it was revealed a number of ballots were double-counted during the 2020 presidential election.
Raffensperger urged local officials to terminate both Rick Barron, the Fulton elections director, and Ralph Jones, the registration chief, for “continued failures.” Earlier in the week, it was revealed that nearly 200 absentee ballots were scanned twice after digital images of the paperwork were made public under the Peach State’s new voting law, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“Fulton County’s continued failures have gone on long enough with no accountability,” Raffensperger wrote in a tweet. “Rick Barron and Ralph Jones, Fulton’s registration chief, must be fired and removed from Fulton’s elections leadership immediately. Fulton’s voters and the people of Georgia deserve better.”
On Wednesday, the secretary of state urged Fulton to “clean their own house” after severe “mismanagement” issues.
“Every time we think we’ve reached the peak of Fulton’s elections mismanagement issues, more comes to light,” Raffensperger told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “I’ve been calling for change in Fulton since day one. Maintaining public confidence in our elections begins in Fulton County.”
“Now, with SB202, the State Election Board has the authority to make that happen,” he added. “If Fulton County doesn’t take action to clean their own house, then I reiterate my call that the State Election Board should use their new authority to clean it for them.”
There is no indication the double-counted ballots influenced the final total votes for either former President Donald Trump or President Joe Biden, though the duplicates would have given Biden 27 more votes if they were tabulated.
VoterGa, a group that organized a lawsuit seeking a high-resolution re-scans of ballots and an in-person review of unsealed 147,000 absentee ballots, said duplicates are just one form of evidence in the 2020 election process that suggest fraud in the contest.
“If we’re finding this in Fulton County, we’re probably going to find it throughout the state. The question is, why did it happen?” said David Cross, a member of the group contesting the election results. “The simple fact that it happened and we found it here means that it probably occurred elsewhere.”
However, Carter Jones, an independent monitor of Fulton’s elections, posited an election worker may have lost track of which ballots were scanned, adding that the chances of organized fraud were small.
“It’s Fulton failing to follow proper election protocols again,” he said. “Fulton is so poor at managing the actual process that if they had actually tried to rig the election, they would have bungled it, and we would have found out.”
Biden received nearly 73% of the vote in Fulton County, a Democratic stronghold, while Trump was favored by 26% of residents. Biden garnered 243,904 more votes in the county. Trump lost the state of Georgia by around 12,000 votes, and Republican allies of the former president have sought to contest the ballot counts throughout the state, particularly in Fulton County, after election officials were slower to report tallies in the aftermath of the election.
Fulton’s two separate recounts attested to the validity of the tallies.
Trump made headlines after November for asking Raffensperger to “find” the necessary votes to solidify his election victory in the once solid-red state, prompting the opening of a criminal investigation in February.
A report written by an independent election observer monitoring the November election in Fulton, which includes much of Atlanta, found the county’s election was sloppily handled but did not uncover any fraud. Raffensperger opened an investigation last month into the handling of paperwork in Fulton County related to the use of drop boxes for the 2020 election.