Fulton County Elections Director Richard Barron Still Has His Job, for Now

Fulton County Elections Director Richard Barron addresses the media regarding the ballot count, at State Farm Arena on November 5, 2020, in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Tami Chappell / AFP) (Photo by TAMI CHAPPELL/AFP via Getty Images)
TAMI CHAPPELL/AFP via Getty Images

The Fulton County Board of Commissioners left the future of Elections Director Richard Barron in doubt Wednesday evening when it failed to either confirm or reject a vote earlier this week by the Fulton County Board of Elections to fire the controversial Barron.

Fox 5 Atlanta reported:

The commission failed to reach four votes to approve the recommendation by the Fulton County Election Board to terminate Barron. The election board had voted 3-2 Tuesday to fire Richard Barron after receiving criticism for its handling of the presidential and Senate runoff. Barron served in the position for eight years.

Commissioner Bob Ellis, who brought forth the motion to move on the election board’s recommendation to fire Barron, said the commission’s failure to accept the election board’s recommendation would be a needless politicization of the election process.

After the initial motion failed, Commissioner Marvin Arrington, Jr. made a motion to reject the election board’s recommendation, but that motion also failed.

The seven-member Fulton County Board of Commissioners may revisit the issue of Barron’s employment status in subsequent meetings.

As Breitbart News reported, Barron played a key role in securing a multimillion-dollar grant for the administration of the Center for Technology and Civic Life (CTCL), which received $350 million in donations in the 2020 election cycle from Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan:

The Fulton County Board of Commissioners voted to accept a $6.3 million grant from the Mark-Zuckerberg funded Center for Technology and Civic Life “Safe Elections” project at a September 2, 2020 board meeting. It proceeded without asking a single question about the name of the group providing the funding, the origin of the funding, or the details of what the funding would be used for.

Later in that meeting, Fulton County Elections Director Richard Barron told the Fulton County Board of Commissioners how he was able to secure the grant for the county, but failed to mention the name of the funding group–CTCL–or the fact they had only one day earlier, on September 1, received a $250 million donation from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, to fund the Fulton County grant.

“I went this summer and sought some grant funding, which the BOC approved today for over $6.3 million, and we’ve also received $5 million in COVID funding. And then with the $3.5 million soundings request today, that totals $14.5 million more in additional investments for we’re going to be — we were able to secure a lot of new polling places for, if we clean them afterwards, we got tech-support at all voting locations, postage and absentee ballots that we have to mail out,” Barron told the Fulton County Board of Commissioners at their September 2, 2020 board meeting.

Fulton County Commissioner Marvin Arrington Jr., who on Wednesday proposed the motion to reject the Fulton County Election Board’s vote to fire Barron, had praised him at the September 2, 2020, meeting when the board approved the $6.3 million Zuckerberg-funded CTCL “Safe Elections” Project grant.

“Great job in getting the grants and going out securing these additional resources to make sure that, you know, we can always do better,” Arrington told Barron at the meeting. “Obviously, I know no one is perfect, but you’ve done — you and your team have done a great job and the elections board in going out and securing these extra grants. So that is certainly to be applauded.”

As Breitbart News reported, the Georgia General Assembly is currently considering legislation that would make it illegal for county or local governments to accept private donations from the Zuckerberg-funded CTCL or similar groups to fund the administration of federal, state, or local elections conducted in Georgia.


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