Fulton County’s interim elections director denies her staff tampered with polling records by adding dozens of voters’ names to tally sheets last year. It wasn’t fraud, Sharon Mitchell says, but correcting mistakes. But Secretary of State Brian Kemp maintains the county’s actions were likely illegal. Not only did the department’s missteps cause more people to use paper ballots than the entire rest of the state combined, Kemp says the county also mishandled those ballots in the aftermath and may have counted some votes twice. Documents unveiled by a state investigator last week showed someone used a red pen to add more than 50 names to the list of people using paper ballots at one precinct and five names to the list from another precinct.
The changes occurred after poll managers had signed off on the documents and submitted them to the main county elections office. An assistant poll manager at Church of the Redeemer in Sandy Springs said she didn’t recognize the names or the handwriting. In a prepared statement, Mitchell said the tally sheets “were working documents that had not been completed correctly at the precincts.”
“It was legal and appropriate for our staff to correct them to ensure that they reflected what took place on Election Day,” Mitchell said.
Kemp disagrees. In a written rebuttal Monday, he said Fulton officials have provided no documents to support their assertion that they were merely correcting mistakes, and dismissing the alteration of official, legally required election documents as corrections is unacceptable.