FULTON COUNTY, Ga. (CBS46) — Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is calling for the firing of the two men who lead the county's election process.
Raffensperger says Fulton County Election Director, Rick Barron, and Registration Director, Ralph Jones, "must be fired and removed from Fulton's elections leadership immediately."
Raffensperger went on to say that "Fulton County's continued failures have gone on long enough with no accountability" and "voters in the county and people of Georgia deserve better."
Back in February, the Fulton County Board of Commissioners decided not to fire Barron, turning down a recommendation to fire him immediately. That recommendation came from the Fulton County Elections Board which voted to terminate Barron.
The demand from Raffensperger comes as the voting tabulation process in Fulton County from back in November comes back into the spotlight. FOX News' Tucker Carlson used his program Wednesday night to argue that significant evidence of voter fraud has been found.
Recent images made public show that nearly 200 absentee ballots in the county were double-counted.
Last month, a judge allowed a lawsuit alleging fraud in Georgia's most populous county during the November election, and seeking a review of absentee ballots, to move forward.
Originally filed in December, the lawsuit says there is evidence of fraudulent ballots and improper ballot counting in Fulton County. The county, county elections board and county courts clerk had filed motions to dismiss the lawsuit. They argued, among other things that the the lawsuit was barred by sovereign immunity, a principle that says state and local governments and can only be sued if they agree to it.
The suit was filed by nine Georgia voters and is spearheaded by Garland Favorito, a longtime critic of Georgia's election systems. As part of the suit, they are seeking to inspect some 147,000 absentee ballots to determine whether there are illegitimate ballots among them.
Several election workers and volunteers have signed sworn statements saying they saw absentee ballots during the audit that weren’t creased from being mailed, appeared to be marked by a machine rather than by hand and were printed on different paper. The lawsuit also repeats a widely circulated claim of fraud based on security video that shows cases of ballots being pulled from under a skirted table and counted while observers and the news media weren’t present.
Fulton County officials have consistently defended the integrity of the election and have criticized the ballot review effort. The secretary of state's office says it has investigated the claims and found no evidence of fraud. An independent monitor who observed Fulton County's election operations as part of a consent agreement said he witnessed sloppy practices and systemic mismanagement but said there was nothing that should cast doubt on the county's election results.
The ballots are kept under seal in the custody of the clerk of Fulton County Superior and Magistrate courts. Amero in April ordered the court clerk to release the scanned absentee ballot images. At a hearing last month, Amero ordered that the paper ballots themselves be unsealed so that the petitioners who filed the lawsuit can inspect and scan them.