State sanctions Fulton for 2010 election mishaps

Fulton County has been sanctioned by state regulators for twice mailing 226 people incorrect absentee ballots during the 2010 gubernatorial election. The State Election Board also slapped the county for hand-delivering an absentee ballot to a man after he complained he didn’t get one, which is against state elections rules.

Fulton avoided fines or prosecution by the state Attorney General’s office on all nine accusations stemming from 2010, many of which involved complaints of people not receiving absentee ballots by mail. The board dismissed seven charges.

For two, the State Election Board, chaired by Secretary of State Brian Kemp, opted to send letters of instruction, which are official reprimands saying that the county violated state rules, with directives for correcting problems. By taking that course, the board declined to send the cases on to the Attorney General, which could result in more serious penalties.

“It’s good to hear these cases, because it’s building up for what’s to come,” Kemp said after the meeting, referring to more than 100 complaints from this year’s presidential election, such as poll workers wrongly steering some voters to provisional ballots and denying those ballots to others.

The board also voted Tuesday to send a different Fulton case on to state prosecutors, an allegation that the county moved too slowly removing a felon from the voter rolls in 2011.