Fulton board approves election settlement

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp said he hopes a settlement approved by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners Wednesday will prevent future election problems in the state’s largest county.

Without comment, commissioners voted 4-0 to approve a consent order that says the county committed 30 violations of state election law in 2008 and 2012 – most during the 2012 general election. Among other things, the county improperly rejected the ballots of 11 voters and mishandled the registrations of hundreds of others during that election.

The county will pay a $150,000 civil penalty plus $30,000 to cover the cost of an investigation by the Secretary of State’s Office. It also agreed to improve training of poll workers, implement a new election management system and maintain at least 24 advance voting sites in primary and general elections in presidential election years and at least 18 sites in other years.

The consent order also must be approved by the State Election Board in the near future. Kemp said efforts to address the election problems “dragged out too long.” But he said the important thing is to prevent future problems.