Republicans pick Fulton elections critic for State Election Board

Janice Johnston, a retired obstetrician, speaks to the Fulton County Elections Board on Aug. 12. The Georgia Republican Party nominated Johnston to the State Election Board on Monday.

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Janice Johnston, a retired obstetrician, speaks to the Fulton County Elections Board on Aug. 12. The Georgia Republican Party nominated Johnston to the State Election Board on Monday.

Janice Johnston joins state board as it considers Fulton takeover

The Georgia Republican Party has nominated a critic of Fulton County’s elections to the State Election Board, which has the newfound power to remove the county’s elections board.

The nominee, retired obstetrician Janice Johnston, has spoken against Fulton during county election board meetings since the 2020 election, calling for the firing of the county’s elections director, criticizing the job performance of temporary election workers and repeating unsubstantiated allegations of “falsified tally sheets” during an audit.

Johnston will play a key role on the State Election Board as a performance review of Fulton is already underway. After the review, the state board could vote to replace the county’s election board with an appointed administrator, a power granted as part of Georgia’s voting law, Senate Bill 202.

The board is also responsible for reviewing allegations of voting infractions and imposing fines.

ExploreProspect of Georgia election takeover fuels concerns about vote integrity

Johnston didn’t return messages seeking comment Tuesday.

Georgia Republican Party Chairman David Shafer said Johnston is qualified for the job.

“She has served as a poll worker, poll watcher and absentee ballot monitor. She has been monitoring as a citizen the meetings of the State Election Board. She is retired now from her medical practice and has full time to devote to this important responsibility,” Shafer said.

State law requires Gov. Brian Kemp to immediately appoint political party nominees to the State Election Board. Johnston will replace Ahn Le, whose two-year term expired at the end of last year. A spokeswoman for Kemp confirmed Tuesday his office received the nomination but hadn’t yet taken further action.

Johnston joins two other Republicans on the five-member State Election Board: Ed Lindsey, who was nominated this month by House Speaker David Ralston, and Matt Mashburn, whom the state Senate confirmed last year. The Democratic Party of Georgia nominated Sara Tindall Ghazal to the board last year.

The fifth seat on the State Election Board is vacant since Georgia’s voting law removed Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger last year. The majority-Republican General Assembly has the authority to appoint someone to fill that seat during this year’s legislative session.