Atlanta (AP) — The Carter Center provides nonpartisan observers to watch the midterm elections in Fulton County, Georgia. Fulton County is a Democratic bastion at the heart of the Atlanta subway and central to Donald Trump’s false allegations that the 2020 presidential election was rigged.
The center, co-founded by former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Rosslaine Carter in 1982, announced Thursday that it has agreed to observe Fulton’s polls and ballot counting at the request of a bipartisan group of Georgia election officials. The move appears intended to ease partisan tensions over how elections are conducted in states and to increase public confidence in the final tally. But it also comes as part of a new state law that Georgia Republicans can use to take over election control in Atlanta’s home county, a strongly democratic county.
International election monitoring has been part of the Carter Center’s work for decades, but distrust of the democratic process has accelerated in recent years, and more recently it has turned its attention to US elections. became. After the 2020 election, Carter Center officials monitored an audit of his five million presidential ballots in states that confirmed Democrat Joe Biden’s victory over Trump.
The oversight request is the latest turn in Georgia Republicans overhauling election laws after a Democratic victory in the state in 2020. Shortly after the law passed in 2021, Republican lawmakers in Fulton County used it to launch a “performance review panel” responsible for evaluating elections. Administration in a strongly democratic jurisdiction.
This prompted protests from Democrats who claimed that the Republicans were planning to eventually oust local Fulton officials and take over local election administration. Since we have not excluded it, we are authorizing a joint request to the Carter Center by members of the review board and local Fulton officials.
Officials from both groups supported the Carter Center’s role on Thursday.
“We are grateful to the Carter Center for their expertise and believe it will lead to an efficient resolution of the performance review process,” said Georgia Secretary of State, a member of the Performance Review Board. said Ryan Germany, General Counsel for Appointed to assess Fulton County.
Kathy Woolard, chairman of the Fulton County Registered Election Commission, said the local commission “is delighted with this opportunity to ensure confidence in the electoral process,” citing the Center’s overseas ratings as a measure of credibility. He mentioned a wide range of activities.
According to the announcement, Carter Center officials are overseeing the issuance and processing of absentee ballots, in-person voting during early voting and on Election Day, election day operations for Fulton officials, and post-election procedures in the county. . The center has promised a full report of its findings by the end of the year.
Fulton County accounts for approximately 11% of Georgia’s electorate. Biden won her nearly 73% of the county vote in November 2020. He won with less than 12,000 of his nearly 5 million votes statewide. According to US Census data, the county is about 45.5% white, 44.5% black, and about 7.6% Asian.
The county will again be key to a high-profile Senate race between Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker, and a gubernatorial race between Republican incumbent Brian Kemp and Democratic challenger Stacey Abrams. . Senate elections will help determine which party will control the Senate during the final two years of Biden’s term.
Since its inception, the center has monitored 113 elections in 39 countries, according to CEO Paige Alexander.
In a statement Thursday, Alexander said the center’s provision of “objective information about the electoral process” was part of “building public confidence in elections.” In his recent interview, Alexander explained that growing distrust of the democratic process in America meant Carter needed the attention of his center.
“We encourage people to come out and vote because we want people to understand that elections, the integrity of elections, can be trusted and their voices will be heard. “I mean, we’re on the same path internationally and domestically,” she told the Associated Press.
In addition to monitoring Fulton’s election, the Center launched an initiative asking candidates across the political spectrum to commit to a set of fair election principles. Among them are the acceptance of consequences and the peaceful transfer of power. In Georgia, Abrams, Kemp and Warnock signed the principle, as did Republican Secretary of State Brad Ravensperger and his Democratic challenger, Bi Nguyen.
Associated Press journalists Kate Blumback and Alex Sands contributed.
https://www.centralillinoisproud.com/news/politics/ap-carter-center-to-monitor-midterms-in-georgias-fulton-county/ The Carter Center oversees midterm elections in Fulton County, Georgia