The Georgia Attorney General's Office is expected to investigate the voting problems reported in Fulton County during the 2012 presidential election.
The State Election Board voted on Tuesday to refer the case to the attorney general after reviewing the results of an investigation by the secretary of state.
In November 2012, voters encountered long lines, confused poll workers and voter registration rolls that were not up to date.
The report by the secretary of state concluded:
These multiple failures seem to be linked to poor planning, insufficient training, poor communication and poor decision-making. Perhaps most troubling is the apparent utter disregard for the security and integrity of practically the entirety of the provisional ballot process. Almost 10,000 votes were essentially un-documented or under-documented and under-secured.
"When you try to go make the effort to vote and then you're turned away when you shouldn't have been, you know that's very concerning," said Secretary of State Brian Kemp, who said he welcomed the investigation by the attorney general.
Fulton County officials noted that the elections department now has a new director and new board members, as well as a new state-run voting computer system.
"I think I can say to voters, 'Your vote is going to count,'" said Election Board Chairwoman Mary Carole Cooley. "I'm going to take it personally if you have any major inconvenience or obstacle in voting."
The attorney general can either enter into a consent order with Fulton County or a trial could be held before the Office of Administrative Hearings. He can also decide whether to pursue criminal charges.
"To me, it's not rocket science," said Fulton County Commissioner Liz Hausmann. "It's clearly laid out in Georgia law how to conduct an election. It's our job to follow that process and ensure that the election results are accurate."
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