“The board of elections makes a recommendation,” Commissioner Marvin Arrington, Jr. said. “They make decisions about the elections, however about Fulton County employees they can only make recommendations.”
Barron has been in charge of Fulton elections since 2013.
On Wednesday, Republican Commissioner Liz Hausmann said commissioners have put Barron is a horrible position.
“I regret terribly that a person who I like, I actually like Rick Barron, is put in this position,” Hausmann said. “He doesn’t deserve that, but we should be respecting and affirming the hard decision that the board of registration and elections made on behalf of the citizens of Fulton County.”
Republicans and Democratic commissioners have both voiced displeasure about Barron’s performance at different times.
Barron was at risk of a bipartisan firing after the June primary had some voters waiting in line for hours, many because they never received mail-in ballots after Fulton’s system was overwhelmed. But Democratic commissioners seem to have been satisfied by Barron’s performance in the general and runoff elections after June.
The elections board voted 3-2 on Feb. 16 to fire Barron.
Barron’s employment has been in limbo ever since, because of a stalemate over the issue on the seven-member Fulton County Commission the next day. The gridlock on the vote was caused when Commissioner Natalie Hall said she didn’t have enough information to make a decision.
On Wednesday, Hall voted to keep Barron and told him: “I do want to apologize for the witch-hunt against you.”
Throughout the two-weeks of uncertainty, politicians have lobbed accusations back and forth — with Democrats saying Republicans are unhappy over the result of the presidential and senatorial races, and Republicans saying the election had many issues, including an absentee-by-mail process vulnerable to fraud.
Cooney, who resigned as chairwoman of the elections board on Tuesday, was one of the two votes to retain Barron. Now, Wan leads the board.
Wan is the first Asian American politician to win a seat on the Atlanta City Council. The Stone Mountain native currently lives in Morningside and is executive director of the nonprofit Horizons Atlanta summer program.
Wan takes over the rest of Cooney’s term, which ends June 30, 2021.
Wan was an Atlanta councilman from 2010 to 2017 until he ran for Council President and lost to Felicia Moore. If reappointed, Wan would oversee citywide elections later this year that feature Moore’s challenge to Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.
Story so far
Barron, who was retained as Fulton’s elections director by a 4-3 vote of the county commission Wednesday, was heavily criticized by both Republicans and Democrats after the June primary that featured long lines and mail-in ballots that never got to voters. The elections board voted 3-2 to fire Barron on Feb. 16. His fate has been in limbo ever since, as the commission argued over whether the responsibility for firing him should rest with the elections board or county commissioners.
Biden agrees to limit $1,400 stimulus check eligibility.Senate Democrats reportedly struck a deal with the president which would allow fewer people to receive $1,400 stimulus checks.Individuals and couples who make up to $75,000 and $150,000, respectively, will still get the full amount.Payments will then reduce and be cut off at $80,000 for individuals and $160,000 for couples.Previously, the cutoff amounts were $100,000 for individuals and $200,000 for couples.Taxpayers filing as head of household will be eligible for the full amount if they make less than $112,500, with payment zeroing out at $120,000.$400-per-week federal unemployment benefits are expected to remain.The Democratic-controlled Senate could hold a final vote by the end of the week