Fulton County GOP sues after candidate to election board who questioned voter rolls was rejected

The lawsuit argues Board of Commissioners must appoint the county party's nominee to the elections board.

Published: July 4, 2023 11:24pm

Updated: July 5, 2023 10:22am

The Fulton County GOP is suing the county Board of Commissioners for rejecting its nominee to an elections board, alleging he was not appointed for having previously raised concerns about voter rolls.

Fulton's Republican Party says county law requires the seven-member board to appoint party nominees to Fulton's Board of Registration and Elections if they meet all the qualifications. And not appointing such a nominee the board is violating the law, according to the lawsuit. 

The Registration and Elections board in Georgia's Fulton County has five members – two Democrats, two Republicans and one appointed by the board.

The requirements for the nominees are they must be a county resident and elector and cannot be an elected official or candidate for elective public office. 

Georgia Republican Party Chairman Josh McKoon said last week commissioners historically approved both political parties’ nominees to the elections board. However, at a June 7 meeting, board members approved the two Democrat and one Republican nominee but not the second GOP nominee, Jason Frazier.

He said the commissioners vote 3-2, with two members not voting, after "a lot of discussion," then voted 5-2 at a June 21 meeting. 

“No commissioner disputed that Jason Frazier meets the qualifications to sit on Board of Elections under Fulton County Code §§ 14-33, -34,” the lawsuit states. 

None of the seven commissioners respond to Just the News' requests for comment.

Commissioner Bob Ellis confirmed with the county attorney that Frazier met all the qualifications to sit on the elections board and “warned that rejecting Frazier’s nomination would deviate from the commission’s established practice, violate the statute, and lead to litigation," according to the lawsuit. 

Frazier, “an engineer with experience analyzing large data sets,” filed challenges to correct thousands of inaccuracies that he found in the county’s voter rolls, the lawsuit also states.

The suit states the county has 862,182 registered voters, based on most recent reports from the Georgia secretary of state, in February 2023. However, the county has a resident voting-age population of 758,910, according to the most recent census data, the lawsuit also states. 

The lawsuit alleges the board rejected Frazier’s nomination because he "sought to compel Fulton County to clean up its voter rolls."

"Frazier’s efforts ... are endorsed by federal and state law. But instead of commending Frazier for his efforts, the board of commissioners punished him," the suit also states. 

Commissioner Dana Barrett, who opposed Frazier’s nomination, said he was not a "good-faith nomination" because of his challenges to the county’s failure to maintain its voter rolls, according to the lawsuit. 

The lawsuit asks for the court to order the commissioners to appoint Frazier to the elections board. 

Plaintiff's attorney David Oles said Friday the statute doesn’t list any criteria for the commissioners to exercise discretion for appointing nominees, despite one of them saying they believed they have some discretion. 

“What happened has no provision in law to deal with it,” Oles said, referring to the commissioners' rejection of Frazier’s nomination. He also said his client's position is the commissioners were not complying with the county code.

Oles also argued that giving the commissioners discretion to decide whether to approve a nominee they "don’t like" would force political parties to go through nominees until they find one the commissioners like.

“That turns the law on its head,” he said.

McKoon also said that while the “legacy media is constantly talking about election lies” and how they “damage public confidence in elections,” Democrats twice refused to appoint a “duly-nominated Republican on the elections board.”

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