Fulton County commissioners are frustrated with election connection

Fulton County commissioners on Wednesday expressed frustration that a senior elections official had been the registered agent for a consulting firm that did business for an Atlanta mayoral candidate.

“It’s not enough to avoid an actual impropriety,” Fulton County Commissioner Marvin Arrington said. “You need to avoid the appearance.”

Ralph Jones, Sr. oversees the registration division for the county’s election division, and is tasked with handling absentee ballots and voter registration. He was the registered agent for RJ Mays Consulting, a business started by his son, Ralph Jones, Jr., that was paid more than $3,600 by the campaign of Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.

Richard Barron, the director of registration and elections, said Jones Sr. only learned his name was on the business when he got a letter saying that it had been dissolved. Barron said the son had used his parents’ address as his permanent address, though he no longer lived there.

“It doesn’t smell good, it doesn’t look good,” County Commissioner Liz Hausmann said. “It crosses some kind of transparency line. …I think your department has to act on it.”