Floyd County fires elections chief

Credit: Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

Credit: Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

Floyd County has fired its elections chief in the wake of problems that have gained national attention this week.

On Thursday county elections board member Melanie Conrad told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution the board initially voted to reprimand Robert Brady, chief clerk of elections.

“Because this is Mr. Brady’s second written reprimand within a six-month period, the Floyd County Board of Elections voted to terminate Mr. Brady pursuant to county policy,” Conrad said in an email to the newspaper.

Brady could not immediately be reached for comment.

Conrad did not elaborate on the reasons for Brady’s termination. But the move comes as Floyd County has come under criticism for initially failing to tally about 2,600 votes in a closely contested election.

The discovery of those ballots during this week’s presidential election audit – along with some 3,300 new votes stored on memory cards that hadn’t been loaded into election computers in three other counties – helped narrow Joe Biden’s lead over Donald Trump in Georgia to 12,781 votes. However, the audit is not expected to change the outcome of the race, which Biden narrowly won.

At a press conference Wednesday, Gabriel Sterling, Georgia’s voting system manager, said Floyd County’s problems were more serious than those in other counties, because the missing votes were not tallied at all until the audit. He also cited problems in Floyd County during the August runoff election, and he singled out Brady for criticism.

“I like Mr. Brady,” Sterling said at the press conference. “He’s a very nice guy. But this kind of managerial malfeasance does not serve the voters.”