Georgia secretary of state slams 'dysfunction' in Fulton County recount

Rep. Doug Collins on Georgia election irregularities, Senate runoffs

Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., tells ‘America’s Newsroom’ he is encouraging Republicans to vote in the state’s Senate runoffs so there is not a reversal of legislative gains made the past four years.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger slammed Fulton County, home to Atlanta, for "dysfunction" amid a statewide recount requested by the Trump campaign after the state certified its results for President-elect Joe Biden.

"Us and our office, and I think the rest of the state, is getting a little tired of always having to wait on Fulton County and always having to put up with their dysfunction," Raffensperger said on Tuesday. "They can still make it by our midnight Wednesday deadline, but they seem to want to make it a dramatic finish."


Georgia is nearing 50 counties completed (out of 159) for the recount, and Fulton is the largest that is incomplete, Raffensperger said.

Fulton County has made headlines for issues counting votes, including a newly purchased Dominion Voting Systems mobile server crashing and a reporting issue requiring officials to rescan more than 300,000 ballots.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger speaks during a news conference on Monday, Nov. 30, 2020, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

"The real issue is a Fulton County employee made several compounding errors," Raffensperger said. "Instead of following the procedures that my office and the vendor laid out, Fulton County once again cut corners. The biggest one being [the employee] backed up the election project on the server itself instead of on an external backup. Because of that decision, they lost the ability to upload hundreds of thousands of scanned ballots."

Raffensperger also criticized Fulton County for its "concerning" decision to cease work around 5 p.m. on both Sunday and Monday.


"Yesterday announced they will scan from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. today," Raffensperger said. "As of an hour ago, Fulton County only had eight of the 17 high-speed scanners going because of staffing shortages."

Fulton County pushed back against Raffensperger on Tuesday.

"I'm still not clear why they continue to pick on Fulton County, Georgia," Rob Pitts of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners said, according to 11Alive's Christie Dietz. "We are the largest county. I can't speak to the other counties, but I can tell you without shadow of a doubt, there was no hanky-panky with the recent election."

President Trump has repeatedly slammed Raffensperger and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, who are both Republicans. Trump called on Kemp to override Raffensperger on matching signatures during the state's recount on Monday.

Workers scan ballots as the Fulton County presidential recount gets under way Wednesday morning, Nov. 25, 2020 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Ben Gray)

A spokesman for Kemp issued a statement in response Tuesday morning, saying that “Georgia law prohibits the governor from interfering in elections.”


“The secretary of state, who is an elected constitutional officer, has oversight over elections that cannot be overridden by executive order,” Kemp spokesman Cody Hall said in a statement. "As the governor has said repeatedly, he will continue to follow the law and encourage the secretary of state to take reasonable steps – including a sample audit of signatures – to restore trust and address serious issues that have been raised.”

Fox News' Paul Conner and Brooke Singman contributed to this report.

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