Voter Registration Cards Dumped

Secretary of State Karen Handel recently announced that the Fulton County Board of Registration and Elections has signed a Consent Order with the Georgia State Election Board, admitting to the unlawful disposal of over 30 boxes of election-related documents in April 2007.

"The reckless behavior of Fulton County elections personnel violated the public's trust in the integrity of their county's elections procedures, and represents one of the worst cases to ever come before the State Election Board," Handel said. "We will continue to closely monitor the Fulton County Board of Registration and Elections, to ensure that they have taken the appropriate steps so that something like this never happens again."

The discarded boxes contained approximately 75,000 voter registration application cards, 24,000 voter registration precinct cards, and other voter documents. Many of the cards and documents contained personal information on active voters, including full names, address and Social Security numbers. Upon further investigations, investigators discovered additional violations of state law. The Secretary of State's Office of Inspector General, acting on a call from a concerned citizen, recovered the boxes from a construction dumpster located at Atlanta Technical College. The Secretary of State's Office immediately initiated a join investigation with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Fulton County Solicitor's Office.

The Consent Order requires the Fulton County Board of Registration and Elections:

  • To conduct semi-annual audits to monitor its document retention programs, in cooperation with the Secretary of State's Office;
  • Establish a remedial fund, a portion of which will pay for additional third party audits;
  • Continue efforts to contact voters whose registration cards or voter registration applications were destroyed; self-report incidents where election documents that carry a statutory retention period are found to be missing;
  • Pay investigative expenses of $19,624 incurred by the Secretary of State's Office;
  • Pay $100,000 into the remedial fund; and
  • Pay an additional $20,000 direct civil penalty.

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Casey Mayville  |  Writer