As election fall out continues, Fulton County’s Elections Director was fired, then he wasn’t, following this blistering report. The report told us what seemed to be painfully clear following every election Fulton has ever engaged in within my memory- they are vastly overwhelmed, unprepared, and under-resourced. The back and forth between the Board of Elections and the Board of Commissioners is a new frustration.
It should be pointed out that Fulton County is the ONLY county in the state that has the extra added step of Commissioners’ votes rendering a decision versus the Elections Board solely making this determination. According to the code, it seems that Fulton County Board of Elections has the authority to strip Mr. Barron of all of his duties and Fulton County Commissioners are the ones that determine funding of the position. While the Fulton County Commission does appoint (or in this case, removes) Mr. Barron, they’re largely just a rubber stamp for the Board of Elections’ decision. Or, in legalese:
“There shall be a chief administrative officer of the board who shall be appointed by the governing authority of the county upon the recommendation of the board and shall be designated [the] “elections supervisor.” He shall have such duties and functions in regard to elections as may be prescribed by the board. The elections supervisor shall be an elector of Fulton County.”
Somehow it doesn’t surprise me that MY Commissioner, Commissioner Natalie Hall, was the one abstaining member of the board that enabled Mr. Barron to keep his job. (Don’t blame me, I voted for Kathryn Flowers.)
I asked some friends close to the Secretary of State their thoughts.
“There’s a growing bipartisan movement to get Rick out of that office. He is a problem and has been one for many years. He does not have the skill set to run a large scale logistics project, which is exactly what an election is.”
According to the source, the Board of Elections asserted back in June they wanted to be rid of Mr. Barron. There wasn’t any movement two weeks post-June election, so a gentleman by the name of Blake Evans was poached by the Secretary of State’s office. It seems Mr. Evans has a lot of support as he is the strongest manager Fulton has had in their past elections and the source wouldn’t be surprised if Mr. Evans received an interim position shortly.
This seems like an adjustment of powers of the Commission might also be in order for some potential legislation at the state legislature. Until then, we can expect Fulton to do what it does best- delay, fumble, and mishandle this.