Fulton finishes counting votes ahead of deadline

Fulton County finished counting ballots cast in Tuesday’s presidential election and certified results at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

The election results’ certification capped a turbulent week for count elections officials, who were criticized by voters and the Secretary of State’s Office for numerous problems that led to confusion, long waits in line and an inordinate number of paper ballots cast unnecessarily.

For once, Fulton wasn’t the last county in the state to make its count results official. The deadline isn’t until Tuesday, and many counties will probably certify then, said Jared Thomas, a spokesman for Secretary of State Brian Kemp.

While Saturday’s action ends the election process in the county, it’s problems may not be over. Kemp’s office is investigating more than 100 complaints that could have Fulton in front of the State Election Board for months, possibly resulting in fines. At least two county commissioners also have called for audits of the Registration and Elections Department.

Kemp has also said that, as a result of Fulton’s “debacle” on Tuesday, he will seek changes to state law next year that would, in the case of mismanagement, allow him to intervene in a county’s election process.

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