Former Atlanta mayoral candidate and Councilwoman Mary Norwood was sworn in for a seat on the embattled Fulton County Board of Registration and Elections Thursday morning.
The board met behind closed doors in an executive session, but the specific focus of their discussion was not made public.
"We got right down to business," said Norwood, who stepped out of the closed session to talk to reporters. "Everyone is focused on solving whatever problems, and getting the elections and the public's confidence in the elections back where it needs to be."
The board has been under fire since the November elections after major problems were reported at precincts across the county. Many voters waited in line for hours only to find out the county had no record of them being registered. Several precincts ran out of paper ballots.
Secretary of State Brian Kemp is investigating why there were so many problems in November. Kemp has subpoenaed interim elections director Sharon Mitchell and several other employees who he says are not cooperating in the investigation.
Mitchell insisted her department is cooperating and has provided the state approximately 9,500 pages of documents.
"We feel that we have been responsive and continue to be responsive," said Mitchell. "The subpoenas were not something our department felt were necessary to have issued to them."
A hearing is scheduled for Jan. 31.
In the meantime, the elections department is preparing a response to a 27-page consultant's report. It cited problems in the department including a lack of leadership, inadequate training of poll workers and an inaccurate registration database.
"Everyone is focused on solving whatever problems and getting the elections and the public's confidence in the elections back where it needs to be," said Norwood.
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Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
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