State approves Fulton election settlement

The State Election Board Thursday approved a settlement that ends some of the legal trouble stemming from Fulton County’s botched elections.

Under the settlement, the county admitted to 30 violations of state law during 2008 and 2012 elections. The county also will pay $180,000 in penalties and investigation costs under the consent order approved Thursday. County officials have already signed off on the settlement.

Most of the charges stem from the 2012 general election, when about 9,600 voters had to cast provisional ballots because their names didn’t appear on registration lists at the polls. An investigation by the Secretary of State’s Office found the county failed to hire enough data-entry workers to handle voter registrations in the weeks leading up to the election.

That led to chaos at some polling locations. Among other things, the county admitted it improperly rejected the ballots of 11 eligible voters and mishandles hundreds of ballots.

Though the settlement ends the state’s investigation, Fulton still faces a lawsuit filed by a former election director who claims she was fired for refusing to cover up issues that led to problems at the polls.

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