Fulton County has a backlog of thousands of unprocessed voter registrations — the same type of gaffe that set off a chain reaction of failures during the November presidential election.
The lapse has been caught in time to fix before this November’s mayoral and city council races, but it raises questions about what kind of leadership the elections department has been under during the past year.
New elections chief Rick Barron said he discovered last month that about 14,000 applications hadn’t been keyed into the state’s data system, which allows voters to use touch-screen machines when they show up at polls.
Barron has had staff working overtime to catch up. They’ve whittled the applications down to 3,500, which the director said he expects to have entered by Monday.
He also fired Sharon Mitchell, who served as interim department director during last year’s election and had been one of his top administrators, overseeing registrations.
Whether he took the action because of the backlog or for other reasons isn’t clear. Barron wouldn’t elaborate, and elections board members said they don’t know the full story. Mitchell did not respond to voice messages left on her cellphone.