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Fulton County voter registration cards flawed

7:15 PM, Oct 23, 2013   |    comments
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ATLANTA --  After admitting that some 20,000 voter registration cards were printed with errors the Fulton County Elections Chairman put the blame on the state's new software being used this year called ElectionNet.

11Alive's Duffie Dixon sat down with Deputy Secretary of State Tim Fleming to ask if, in fact, the wrong information came from his department.

"Well, the counties have to verify its correct before they send it. they check that its correct and the state prints those cards. Were there some issues, yes.  We're working with the counties to address those issues," said Fleming.

The misprints will cost Fulton County an estimated $14,000. Dixon asked Fleming if the state will pay for some of that overrun.

"The state does incur some of that cost by I'm not familiar with the numbers that have been floating around out there. I will say every election cycle, even prior to this cycle with this system,  here are always cards that have to be reprinted, new cards have to be made," said Fleming.

In an email, the Fulton County Elections Office warned residents who received new voter registration cards to check them carefully.

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It said, in part:

Due to issues with the States VoterNet system, a small percentage of residents received voter registration cards with incorrect information.

Fulton County Registration and Elections Chairman Richard Baron said the problem seemed to originate with the state's new elections software, actually called ElectionNet.

"Once we got the printed cards back from the state, we did a hand audit of 156,000 cards. We ended up pulling about 20,000 cards out of that batch," Baron said.

He said some faulty cards  may have slipped through. His office expects to send out new cards by the end of business Wednesday.

The error comes as Fulton County just settled its last election problems.

In the last election cycle, scores of Fulton County senior citizens living in a high rise were purged from the system after they were told, incorrectly, that their address was a vacant lot.

In the primary, hundreds received faulty voter registration cards and were sent to the wrong voting precincts.

As a result, Elections chairman Sam Westmoreland and a board member were forced out.

Baron is the new chairman. He was hired in July and is well aware of his department's less that stellar reputation.

"I'm confident everything is going to be worked out by then, and we've got plenty of provisional ballots for each precinct just in case," said Baron.

He said as one of the last counties to be added into VoterNet there were bound to be a few problems, but he believes they're being fixed as they come up.

"Anytime there's a large software implementation they are going to be issues. Everybody at the state is working hard, and my team is working with the state to do it," Baron said.

He suggests voters call (404) 730-7072 to double-check voting information. You can also check online. 

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