Valdosta Daily Times

November 8, 2012

Fulton Co. had 11,000 provisional ballots cast

RAY HENRY
Associated Press

ATLANTA — Election officials will need to sort through about 11,000 provisional ballots cast in Tuesday’s general election, while state authorities investigate what they described as “systemic problems” in the metro Atlanta county.

The interim director of Fulton County’s Board of Registrations and Elections, Sharon Mitchell, told county leaders Wednesday that approximately 11,000 provisional ballots were cast in the election, said Jessica Corbitt, a Fulton County spokeswoman. That is an increase from 4,146 provisional ballots cast in the 2008 presidential election.

Voters have until Friday to resolve whatever issues forced them to vote provisionally.

Afterward, the elections board will count the ballots and plans to certify the results Saturday, Corbitt said.

The state’s top voting official, Secretary of State Brian Kemp, said his office has opened multiple investigations into Fulton County’s voting operations that he expects will be ongoing for the next several months. He spent part of Wednesday morning seeking more information from Fulton officials about how many provisional ballots were cast in the race.

“That’s a lot of ballots that they’ve got to get done by the close of business Friday,” Kemp said. “They need to make that deadline. They need to put the resources behind getting those ballots taken care of.”

Kemp said voters have reported to his office that they were forced to cast provisional ballots because their names were not registered on electronic voting lists at polling stations even though they are listed on a statewide database of registered voters.

Also, it appeared Fulton County was still enrolling voters until just before the presidential election, potentially causing problems, Kemp said.