Metro Atlanta counties certify May primary election results

Fulton County Board of Elections faces lawsuit from GOP board member
Fulton County voters vote on primary election day at Dad's Garage in Atlanta, Georgia on Tuesday, May 21, 2024. (Arvin Temkar/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS)

Credit: TNS

Credit: TNS

Fulton County voters vote on primary election day at Dad's Garage in Atlanta, Georgia on Tuesday, May 21, 2024. (Arvin Temkar/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS)

County election boards across metro Atlanta certified results from this month’s primary election on Tuesday.

In Fulton County, Republican board member Julie Adams abstained from voting instead of certifying the results, citing the need for more transparency.

No metro Atlanta elections officials, including in Fulton County, reported any major administration errors related to the May 21 election.

Adams also filed a lawsuit against her own board last week, arguing that she cannot fulfill her duties as a board member without access to “essential election materials and processes.” Her lawsuit also seeks a ruling that her duty to certify election results is based on her own discretion and is not mandatory.

Julie Adams (center) is sworn in as a member of the Fulton County Board of Registration & Elections on Feb. 8, 2024. Clerk of Courts Che' Alexander (left) administers the oath while Mike Heekin, Adams' fellow Republican board member, holds a Bible.

Credit: Jim Gaines

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Credit: Jim Gaines

In DeKalb, Cobb, Gwinnett, Henry, Fayette, and Clayton counties, the election results were certified unanimously. No counties reported any major issues related to election administration.

Some Republicans have repeatedly cast doubt on elections since then-President Donald Trump lost his 2020 reelection bid. Allegations of ballot stuffing, illegal voters, rigged machines and counterfeit ballots have all been debunked in investigations.

The Democratic Party of Georgia moved to intervene in Adams’ lawsuit, citing concerns that Trump and his supporters will try to block the certification of November’s election if he does not win.

A few GOP election board members across metro Atlanta have voted to not certify election results in recent years — a mostly performative way to protest or demonstrate their doubt in the elections process.

Those in Cobb and DeKalb who have previously voted against certification did not do so with the May primary results.

During the Fulton elections board meeting Tuesday, Adams said the department “must correct the way we do our elections.”

“Currently all important decisions are made by the staff and behind closed doors,” Adams said. “If we have no transparency to the board, what does that say for transparency to the people we serve?”

Other board members said they have faith in the department staff, who have withstood heightened scrutiny in recent years.

“The people in this department do an exceptional job every year. The problem that we have in Fulton County is the continuous misrepresentation of what actually is going on,” said board member Aaron Johnson. “Nobody has been watched or monitored as hard as Fulton County, but yet we still stand.”

The election was certified despite Adams’ abstention.

Several local elections will head to runoffs, set for June 18, including three U.S. Congressional races, the DeKalb County CEO race, and the Clayton County sheriff’s race.

Staff writers Alia Pharr, Leon Stafford and Sara Gregory contributed to this report.