Fulton County Election Board Kept Records Unlawfully


Fulton County’s election board and director are allegedly withholding election records from a Republican board member, according to a new lawsuit.

Julie Adams, a member of the Fulton County Board of Registration and Elections (BRE), filed the suit on Tuesday. She contends that the board and Elections Director Nadine Williams are blocking her from fulfilling her duties by denying her access to critical election materials and processes. Adams was appointed in January and took office in February.

“Plaintiff swore an oath to ‘prevent fraud, deceit, and abuse’ in Fulton County elections and to ‘make a true and perfect return,’” the lawsuit states. “These obligations are frustrated by the repeated and continuing refusal to allow Plaintiff access to, and direct knowledge of, the information Plaintiff reasonably believes she needs to execute her duties faithfully and thoroughly.”

Since taking office, Adams has sought access to various election materials and processes, including the county’s qualified voter list and absentee ballot records. The qualified voter list includes all lawfully registered voters eligible to cast a ballot, while the absentee ballot records include the list of electors who requested, received, or returned an absentee ballot, as well as all absentee ballot applications and envelopes.

The suit claims that Georgia’s Authorization Act grants the BRE the “exclusive power to certify the results of Fulton County elections” and specifies the role of an elections supervisor, appointed by the county’s governing authority on the board’s recommendation. This individual has duties prescribed by the board.

The board justifies denying Adams access to these materials by asserting that it has delegated essential responsibilities to the Election Director. The lawsuit explains that defendants argue the BRE delegated its statutory duties and powers to the director through the adoption of the bylaws, making BRE members ineligible to access the necessary election materials and processes.

Adams contends that neither the counsel nor BRE staff have been able to produce an official version of the bylaws in any form, nor can they specify a date on which the bylaws were passed. As a result, she claims, the current and former chairs of the BRE and the director have refused her access to the election materials and processes.

Emails included in the lawsuit show that Adams contacted Williams and then-BRE Chair Patrise Perkins-Hooker on March 7, requesting access to election materials and processes for review before the board certified the results of the March 12 Presidential Preference Primary. Williams responded that most of the requested documents wouldn’t be created until after the primary and that reviewing them was not necessary for certification, which her office completed diligently.

Perkins-Hooker followed up with an email instructing Williams to take no action on Adams’ request until the board approved any changes to the certification process. She further told Adams to seek approval from the entire elections board before accessing the records.

On March 19, Adams voted against certifying the primary results, citing the board’s denial of access to the materials as an impediment to her duty of thoroughly inspecting the conduct of primaries and elections.

Subsequent attempts by Adams to obtain the records were also denied by Williams. The Democrat Party of Georgia issued a letter to the board, stating that certification is a ministerial task not subject to board members’ discretion and suggesting they could be held criminally liable for not certifying.

Adams has asked the Fulton County Superior Court to declare that BRE members’ duties are discretionary, not ministerial, and that they are entitled to full access to the election materials and processes. She also requested injunctions to prevent the defendants from withholding such materials from board members and mandate their disclosure during and after Georgia’s May 21 statewide primaries.

In a 2-1 decision, the state board ruled that Fulton County must have an independent election monitor to oversee its elections after it found more than 3,000 ballots were scanned twice during the 2020 presidential recount. However, the board declined to refer the matter to the Georgia attorney general for further investigation.

Julie Adams Press Release and Lawsuit by Truth Voices on Scribd

Shawn Fleetwood
Shawn Fleetwood
Shawn Fleetwood is a graduate of the University of Mary Washington, where he acquired a Bachelor of the Arts degree in Political Science with a minor in Journalism. His work has been featured in several other news publications, such as RealClearPolitics, RealClearDefense, The Federalist, and Conservative Review.

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