DeKalb County Officials Won’t Say If Elections Director’s Leave of Absence Is Performance Related, Paid or Unpaid

When the heads of the DeKalb County Board of Registration and Elections announced that effective September 9, 2021, Erica Hamilton is on an extended leave of absence from her role as Director of DeKalb County Registration and Elections, noticeably missing from the statement was whether Hamilton’s leave was related to her job performance and whether the leave was paid or unpaid.

The joint statement, issued by DeKalb Board of Registration and Elections Chair Dele Lowman Smith and Vice-Chair Nancy Jester, came just 6 business days after The Georgia Star News reported that 43,000 absentee ballots deposited into DeKalb County drop boxes were counted during the November 2020 election, despite violating a chain of custody rule.

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43,000 Absentee Ballot Votes Counted in DeKalb County 2020 Election Violated Chain of Custody Rule

43,907 of the 61,731 absentee ballots deposited in drop boxes in the November 2020 presidential election in DeKalb County, Georgia–72 percent–were counted in official tallies certified by the county and the state, despite violating chain of custody requirements set forward in Georgia Emergency Rule 183-1-14-1.8-.14  promulgated by the Georgia State Election Board at its July 1, 2020, meeting.

That rule states absentee ballots placed in drop boxes, “shall be immediately transported to the county registrar” by the two person collection team, which is required to sign a ballot transfer form indicating the number of ballots picked up, the time the ballots were picked up, and the location of the drop box, and that, “The county registrar or a designee thereof shall sign the ballot transfer form upon receipt of the ballots from the collection team.”

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