Fulton County Commission Chair Robb Pitts said Wednesday that two recent moves by Georgia Republicans put the future of county elections in jeopardy.
The issues are Janice Johnston being appointed to the State Elections Board and former U.S. Sen. and current gubernatorial candidate David Perdue promising to establish a new police force trained on elections.
Pitts, a Democrat, wrote that those two situations “represent a clear and present danger to elections, especially here in Fulton County.”
Fulton has had several notable elections issues, but no one has substantiated the many fraud claims thrown at the Democratic stronghold.
“This is a moment everyone should be paying attention to — they have elevated a conspiracy theorist to the State Elections Board and they could elect one Governor. The alarm bells should be blaring,” Pitts wrote.
Johnston’s appointment matters because the retired obstetrician has consistently been critical of Fulton elections since 2020 and broadcast unsubstantiated fraud allegations.
Her appointment puts an outspoken critic of Fulton on a board that is currently investigating the county’s elections performance. If the board is unhappy with what they see, thanks to the new Senate Bill 202 they can temporarily take over elections in Fulton — home to more than 850,000 registered voters.
“I’m deeply worried about impartiality when it comes to the ongoing performance review into our elections,” Pitts wrote.
Johnston did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
As for Perdue, his idea of an “Election Law Enforcement Division” in Georgia came weeks after fellow Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida proposed the idea. The Florida department would include 45 investigators and a $5.7 million budget, according to the Tampa Bay Times. Perdue didn’t offer the same level of detail for Georgia, which already has investigators who examine elections fraud claims.
There has been no indication of fraud after three ballot counts and multiple investigations into the 2020 presidential contest between Joe Biden and Donald Trump, according to state elections official. Still, Perdue and many other Republicans have continued to delegitimize Biden’s victory over Trump.
“It’s clear from the former Senator’s previous remarks that he’s bought into the Big Lie and would only use this new division to launch baseless witch hunts into Democratic counties like Fulton County,” wrote Pitts. “We’ve had a target on our back ever since Donald Trump lost and I’m certain that if former Senator Perdue gets his way he will only use his new division to unfairly attack us.
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Credit: Henri Hollis / Henri.Hollis@ajc.com