Politics

What It Took For Fulton Election Results To Go Up Before Midnight

Electronic voting machines at a Fulton County warehouse that serves as the county's election-night headquarters.
Electronic voting machines at a Fulton County warehouse that serves as the county's election-night headquarters.
Credit Johnny Kauffman / WABE
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A reminder to poll workers and a lack of any major mishaps Tuesday night may have been all it took for Fulton County to get election results posted online before midnight.

Fulton has been hit by repeated criticism over the late hour it uploads returns.

Records from Georgia’s Secretary of State show the county posted final unofficial results after midnight in all major elections since 2014.

“We’re hampered somewhat by our size,” Fulton County elections director Richard Barron said.

Fulton is 70 miles from north to south, and, at more than 1 million people, is the most populous of any county in Georgia.

On Tuesday night, results for elections in Fulton County were posted by about 11:30 p.m.

Fulton County elections director Rick Barron said he doesn’t think the county could get results posted any sooner than it did Tuesday morning. (Johnny Kauffman)

Barron said the county took a few new steps ahead of the most recent election to speed up the counting, including reminding poll workers they need to remain at their precincts until votes are tallied and all the machines areshut down.

“We need teamwork in each precinct and we need everybody to put in the same effort so that the poll manager and the assistant manager aren’t stuck by themselves doing everything,” Barron said.

Early votes cannot be counted until the polls close, according to Georgia law.

Barron said this time around, the county assigned more workers to help count those votes, and it also tweaked the process so they could be posted earlier in the evening.

“Everything went according to plan,” Barron said. “I’m happy about that.”