Fulton County Voting Irregularities Referred To Attorney General

December 17, 2013 10:57 am

by Charlie · 20 comments

Breaking news from the Capitol:  The State Board of Elections has just referred multiple issues from the 2012 Fulton County General Election to Georgia’s Attorney General.  We’re told it was a 4-0 vote.

We’ll update as more details are available.

peachpundit (@peachpundit) December 17, 2013 at 10:57 am

New post: Fulton County Voting Irregularities Referred To Attorney General http://t.co/zYGAVeLPBu #gapol

South Fulton Guy December 17, 2013 at 1:52 pm

One wonders how many of the irregularities are related to the new vendor voter registration package ElectioNet and how likely an issue with the state system and not Fulton County would be referred to the AG.

Harry December 17, 2013 at 5:55 pm

Fulton County over at least 20 years is always last in Georgia to report election results, with many irregularities. The 2012 sheriff primary was especially a travesty.
http://www.cbsatlanta.com/story/19305536/lawsuit-filed-in-fulton-county-sheriffs-race

South Fulton Guy December 17, 2013 at 6:35 pm

@Harry, Fulton County is often but NOT ALWAYS last in part because it has the most voters, the most precincts, the most voting machines and the longest geographical distance from one end of the county to the other..

atl_man December 17, 2013 at 8:19 pm

South Fulton Guy:

Usually you and I are on the same side (and Harry is on the other side) but to a lot of people, this just looks like more evidence that the folks in charge do not know how to run a county and – more important – have no interest in learning. There was the locks on the jail issue. They completely humiliated themselves on the Braves issue, passing referendums to “discuss and study the issue” after the Braves were already gone. Now this, which just adds to a bunch of stuff.

Sorry, but the Fulton County leadership is south Fulton’s biggest enemy right now. And that is exactly why a referendum to create a city in south Fulton might actually pass this time around.

South Fulton Guy December 17, 2013 at 8:33 pm

Thanks for the props atl_man – the vantage point from one in the trenches however is a bit different.

The Braves negotiations and the fumble was the City of Atlanta and the COO Duriya Farooqui who actively negotiated with the Braves NOT Fulton County who were not at the table. Her departure from Mayor Reed’s administration after two years is likely related to her failure to retain the Braves.

Unincorporated South Fulton County is not disgruntled with county leadership and so far it is not sold on the city-hood obsession: http://homerulenews.com/sandtown-still-not-sold-on-city-of-south-fulton-p240-107.htm

There was a straw poll conducted by Commissioner Bill Edwards and the rejection numbers of incorporation look like this effort so far in polling will fail again: 68% to 27% against a City of South Fulton. http://www.poll-maker.com/results50220xe8E8420d-3#tab-2

Andre December 18, 2013 at 1:02 am

Speak for yourself.

Harry December 18, 2013 at 1:26 am

Make your own polls at poll-maker.com!

I don’t have a dog in this fight but I’ll go with Andre, and Andre I’ll contribute to your campaign if you run for mayor!

Harry December 18, 2013 at 1:35 am

That poll SFG cites was made at 8.00 AM, and SFG posted the results 12 hours later at 8.33PM. Virtually all the yes votes were registered in the first three hours?
http://www.poll-maker.com/results50220xe8E8420d-3#tab-4

Andre December 18, 2013 at 2:28 am

Harry,

Thanks for the encouragement, but we need to finish determining if the proposed city of South Fulton will be financially viable before we start asking who will run the new municipality.

One thing is for certain, unincorporated south Fulton County cannot stay unincorporated for too much longer.

In the six years since south Fulton voters rejected cityhood, the property tax rate has gone from 5.659 to 12.469. That property tax rate is among the highest in the county; even higher than Atlanta (10.240), Chattahoochee Hills (10.958), Fairburn (9.98), Palmetto (8.50), and Union City (10.598).

In July, the Fulton County Republican Party came out strongly against the latest property tax increase for south Fulton. In an email to supporters, the Fulton GOP asked, “Are we getting new services for this property tax increase?”

The answer is clearly no.

The annual budget book, published by Fulton County Government, says in black and white that the tax increases were needed to maintain the same level of service as in the previous year. In other words, unincorporated south Fulton County residents are paying 2013 taxes for 2007 service levels.

Now maybe South Fulton Guy doesn’t feel disgruntled about that, but I do.

In addition, unincorporated south Fulton County is a victim of taxation without representation.

Fulton County Commissioner Tom Lowe voted to raise south Fulton’s taxes this year, but Tom Lowe lives in Sandy Springs where his property tax rate is 4.731.

Can south Fulton voters toss Tom Lowe out on his behind? Nope. Can Tom Lowe raise south Fulton’s taxes? Yep. Maybe South Fulton Guy doesn’t feel disgruntled about that, but I do.

Maybe South Fulton Guy doesn’t feel disgruntled about Commissioners Liz Hausmann and Tom Lowe voting to put a Family Dollar on Old National Hwy. Maybe South Fulton Guy doesn’t feel disgruntled about two north Fulton commissioners approving the construction of a store that does nothing to improve the area or spur economic development. Maybe South Fulton Guy doesn’t feel disgruntled about Tom Lowe raising taxes in a community he doesn’t live in; maybe South Fulton Guy doesn’t feel disgruntled about Liz Hausmann voting to build a Family Dollar in a community she doesn’t live in, but I do.

For all those reasons I listed above, I am disgruntled. I am very disgruntled. And, despite his moniker, South Fulton Guy doesn’t speak for me. South Fulton Guy speaks only for himself.

Now, is creating the city of South Fulton the right thing to do at this point?

That’s why we’re having this renewed debate on the issue.

South Fulton Guy December 18, 2013 at 8:19 am

Andre, Do you currently support the creation of the City of South Fulton or would you rather be annexed?

Andre December 18, 2013 at 10:24 am

I support whatever it takes to keep folks who don’t live in south Fulton from voting to raise our taxes and build Family Dollars on every corner.

South Fulton Guy December 18, 2013 at 9:43 am

Fact check Liz Hausmann did not vote on the Family Dollar on Cascade and Kimberly. The commercial zoning passed in 1986.

Andre December 18, 2013 at 10:21 am

You should re-read what I wrote, South Fulton Guy.

I referenced the Family Dollar on Old National Hwy.

I would encourage you to read the minutes from 6 February 2013 Fulton County Commission meeting. Pay particular attention to pages 22 – 31. Then, pay attention to agenda item 13-0084, where south Fulton residents came out and spoke against a proposed strip mall at the intersection of Bethsaida Road and Hwy. 138.

Ms. Carrie Bowden, a 30-year resident of south Fulton, stood before commissioners and said the proposed development was “unnecessary and unwanted in our community.”

“The last thing that we need is another strip mall with vacant retail establishments. We don’t need another Family Dollar, [Dollar] Tree, nail shop, barber shop. Please don’t do that to us,” Ms. Bowden said.

One month later, at its 6 March 2013 meeting, the Fulton County Commission approved the strip mall opposed by south Fulton residents, with Liz Hausmann counted amongst the commissioners voting yes.

South Fulton Guy December 18, 2013 at 4:46 pm

Andre,

You are correct I missed that it was an “Old National” Family Dollar, BUT Liz and Tom are just two votes on a seven member commission.

For the record it could not have passed without a quorum of four affirmative votes a combination of at least two at large (John Eaves/Robb Pitts) or two district (Emma, Bill or Joan).

That Family Dollar zoning only could have happened without the approval of the traditional democrat and Black vote in favor as well. Likewise taxes cannot be raised on South Fulton for the same reason.

As you know unpopular or bad zonings happen in municipalities as well.

Harry December 18, 2013 at 10:23 am

Andre, it will be interesting to find out which of the three options result in the lowest millage rate and best service levels – staying as is, being annexed by Atlanta, or incorporation as a new city.

Andre December 18, 2013 at 10:28 am

Harry,

Staying unincorporated is not a viable option. Only the cities of East Point (15.00) and Hapeville (16.61) have a higher millage rate than unincorporated south Fulton (12.469).

There really are only two options here: 1) Annexation into Atlanta, Chattahoochee Hills, College Park, East Point, Fairburn, Palmetto, or Union City; or 2.) incorporation as a new city.

South Fulton Guy December 18, 2013 at 6:15 pm

So I guess Andre is going to change his mailing address to Union City, GA.

Charlie December 18, 2013 at 8:18 am

Here’s the AJC story. Attorney General’s office isn’t mentioned fwiw. I’ll do a bit more checking:

http://tablet.olivesoftware.com/Olive/Tablet/AtlantaJournalConstitution/SharedArticle.aspx?href=AJC/2013/12/18&id=Ar00100

Charlie December 18, 2013 at 2:06 pm

Here’s CL’s take, explaining the AG’s role in a bit more detail:

http://clatl.com/freshloaf/archives/2013/12/18/georgia-ag-to-look-into-fulton-countys-2012-election-troubles

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