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Fulton elections department: 'We feel we had a successful election'
by Rachel Kellogg
November 06, 2012 09:08 PM | 4355 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
At a news conference held by the Fulton County Elections Department Tuesday at 8:25 p.m., Interim Elections Director Sharon Mitchell and Election Board Chairman Roderick Edmond presented a briefing on the day's events.

At that time, Mitchell said there were still people in line at some precincts waiting to vote. Long lines were the hot topic of the day, with some north Fulton polling stations reporting that residents were waiting more than two hours to vote.

In many cases, voters were delayed because their names did not show up in Fulton County's system, even though they were filed as registered and eligible to vote with the Secretary of State's elections department.

Edmond said polling managers were given supplemental lists to verify voters who did not immediately appear in the system.

“All poll managers were given training on what to do with those supplemental lists. Every poll manager was trained on how to utilize that,” he said.

But, according to Mitchell, “In some cases, managers at our locations did not know how to handle them” and instead ended up issuing provisional ballots to these eligible voters.

Mitchell said the department will follow the process of tallying those votes.

“I can assure you that all ballots will be counted,” she said.

Mitchell said the long waits some voters experienced was “not an acceptable wait” and extended an apology to them.

Mitchell said even though there were “challenges,” everyone who showed up to vote was able to.

“At the end of the day, we feel we had a successful election,” she said.

She continued by saying, “Every election is a lesson learned” and promised every aspect of the election process will be reviewed.

When asked if the department was shifting the blame for the day's problems, Edmond said that was “not correct.”

“In any election there will be some errors,” he said.

Edmond added that the department's goal is to make sure “taxpayers have an election process they can have confidence in.”

Edmond said he hopes polling managers in the future will be trained in a way that “they actually get it this time.”

Mitchell has been interim director for six weeks, and Edmond said he is happy with the work she's done in that short time.

“This is going to be a great department someday,” he said. “We've got work to do.”

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