ATLANTA — Georgia elections officials, who have been beating back unfounded claims of fraud and malfeasance since the November election, say they’re prepared to be in the spotlight once again after Tuesday’s runoffs.
“All the counties in Georgia are in the spotlight right now, so we are all prepared for this as well as we can be,” Richard Barron, Fulton County’s elections director, said at a news conference Monday afternoon.
Trump has attacked Fulton County, the most populous in Georgia, repeatedly since he lost the state two months ago in the presidential election — including in his call to the secretary of state. Barron said his staff has endured a bomb threat, death threats and repeated racial slurs in the run-up to Tuesday’s vote.
“We're trying to take each of those things as they happen and just continue to do our jobs,” Barron said.
Elsewhere, officials who maintain that they ran a smooth election in November say they don’t plan on changing things this time around.
“If the wheel isn’t broke, don’t fix it,” Erica Hamilton, elections director in DeKalb County, said in an interview. “We’re ready for the challenge. We knew it was going to be historic once we saw there was going to be a runoff, so we’ve been getting prepared for this moment.”
Hamilton said the county will be live-streaming election night ballot scanning to reassure anyone skeptical of the count’s legitimacy.
“We want everything to be transparent and let them know we have nothing to hide here in DeKalb County — and in the state of Georgia, as a matter of fact,” Hamilton said.
In Gwinnett County, which encompasses the fast-diversifying suburbs northeast of Atlanta, communications director Joe Sorenson said his staff is committed to running a clean election, no matter their personal party preferences.
“The people working in the trenches here, they do take it personally,” Sorenson said.
Officials in Fulton, Gwinnett and DeKalb counties — three of the four largest in the state — told The Washington Post that more than 900,000 people in their counties have voted early, between absentee ballots and in-person locations. They said they hope to finish counting all but the last of the mailed ballots by late Tuesday.
“It’s definitely the biggest runoff we’ve ever seen,” Sorenson said. “By sheer numbers, it’s one of the largest elections we’ve seen already.”