May 17, 2023
For Immediate Release
New Georgia Project Action Fund
(Atlanta, GA) New Georgia Project Action Fund (NGPAF) released the following statement in response to the rushed and careless proceedings ahead of and at today's Fulton County Commission hearing:
“The events of today’s Fulton County Commission hearing were completely unacceptable. We are glad that, because of external pressure, Chairman Pitts’ initial nominee, Lee Morris, withdrew his candidacy for Chair of the Fulton County Board of Elections and a more qualified nominee, Patrise Perkins-Hooker, was put forward. Nevertheless, it is alarming that Fulton County residents—and even some County Commissioners—did not know who the new nominee would be until they arrived at today’s vote. That is not how our democracy should work.
‘This was a rushed and secretive process that left Fulton County residents—and voters—in the dark. It was unnecessary and uncalled for,’ says Stephanie Jackson Ali, NGPAF Policy Director. ‘Chairman Pitts gave just three business days’ notice about his nominee, leaving the voters who put him in office with little time to weigh in on the official who will oversee their elections in 2024. I want to be clear: Lee Morris only withdrew after Fulton County residents and voting rights organizations like NGPAF turned up the political pressure. He didn’t want that smoke, and I don’t blame him. Fulton County is the most populous and one of the most diverse in America’s newest battleground state; what happens here matters. Morris was right to recognize that we’d be on the neck of anyone who tried to restrict access to the ballot box.’
NGPAF congratulates Perkins-Hooker, who was elected to become the next Chair of the Fulton County Board of Elections after Morris withdrew. Her experience as an elections lawyer in Fulton County will provide Fulton residents with the confidence they need when casting their votes. Her leadership will also provide critical oversight on a Board of Elections that may soon count two GOP elections deniers among its members.
While the election of Chairman Perkins-Hooker was a positive outcome, the process we witnessed over the past few days was a disservice to Fulton County voters. They deserve deliberateness and transparency in determining who will oversee their elections during a critical Presidential election cycle. We are hopeful that, going forward, Chairman Perkins-Hooker and the other members of the Fulton County Board of Elections will work hard to ensure voters’ rights are protected. In today’s political climate, there is no room for anyone who does not believe in democracy in any position in Georgia’s government, especially those that have a hand in our elections administration.”