Georgia Republicans have taken the next step in their bid to seize control of elections in Fulton County, the state's most populous county, which Joe Biden overwhelmingly won 73%-26%.
Two dozen GOP state senators are seeking to initiate a performance review of Fulton elections chief Richard Barron, according to a letter obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The move is an outgrowth of Georgia's new voter suppression law, Senate Bill 202, which stipulates that following a performance review, the State Election Board can replace a county's election board with an individual for at least nine months. "Then, a temporary superintendent would enjoy full managerial authority of how the county counts votes and staffs polling places," explains AJC.
Initiation of such a review requires a request by at least two state senators and two state representatives. Two Republican representatives have already told AJC they would follow suit, House Speaker Pro-Tempore Jan Jones and Rep. Chuck Martin.
Democrats say the move is a clear escalation of Republicans' intention to execute a takeover of Fulton County elections.
“It’s been rhetoric until this point. This letter is the first official step in the process,” said Fulton Commission Chair Robb Pitts, a Democrat. Pitts promised a fight but also conceded that current law favors the GOP.
“We’ve got allies in the legislature, we’ve got the courts and the court of public opinion,” he said, adding, "The law, as it currently stands, is on their side.”
Fulton County—which has been the subject of baseless conspiracy theories—experienced some hiccups during both the primary and general election. But multiple recounts in the state reaffirmed Biden's win.