Politics

Kristal Dixon
Oct 12, 2021 - Politics

Election workers fired for allegedly shredding voter registration applications

Illustration of a peach with an "I voted" sticker on it
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Two Fulton election workers have been fired after they were accused of shredding hundreds of voter registration applications, which prompted Georgia’s secretary of state to call on the federal government to investigate the county's operations.

Why it matters: The latest saga out of Georgia’s most populous county comes months after the State Board of Elections appointed a panel to review the county’s elections process, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Kristal Dixon
Oct 11, 2021 - Politics

Your guide to early voting in Atlanta and Fulton County

A voter casts a ballot at the Metropolitan Library in November 2020 in Atlanta. Photo: Jessica McGowan/Getty Images

Tuesday marks the first day of early voting for mayoral and city council races in Atlanta and around Fulton County.

What you need to know:

  • Early voting continues through Oct. 29 — from 9am to 6pm.
  • Fulton County will open 24 early voting sites. (Full list here.)
  • View the county's sample ballot here.

Atlanta's once-innovative system for citizen engagement faces big changes

Illustration of two street signs with garbled, changing nonsense text.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Oh, and money. They desperately need more funding. When the NPUs first met, their internal office had 18 dedicated staffers (federal funding helped). Today, it has four. Atlanta’s once-innovative program to include residents in the decision-making process about big-picture issues affecting their city needs a complete overhaul, according to a three-year study by a local champion for civic engagement.

Why it matters: It should be a critical avenue for regular folks to weigh in on long-term planning visions and policies like affordable housing, density, cash bail reform and climate change.

Kristal Dixon
Oct 8, 2021 - Politics

Atlanta establishes office to reduce violent crime

Illustration of a downward arrow made out of crime-scene tape.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

A new Mayor's Office of Violence Reduction will take the lead on implementing a strategy to push back on rising crime in Atlanta.

Why it matters: The office is one of several recommendations made by the Anti-Violence Advisory Council, which was established in May by Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms to address the spike in violent crime since the start of the pandemic.

Kristal Dixon
Oct 7, 2021 - Politics

Federal law seeks to protect election workers from threats

Fulton County, Ga., elections worker inspects ballots cast in the Nov. 3 presidential election.
Fulton County election workers examine ballots. Photo: Tami Chappell/AFP

Federal legislation would clarify who is protected under federal law for threats made against election workers and polling places.

Why it matters: The 2020 election saw a spike in threats directed towards election workers, many of whom are volunteers, across the country.

Thomas Wheatley
Oct 7, 2021 - News

Buckhead's cityhood dreams could come with a high price

An animated image depicting the general area of Buckhead slipping away from the rest of the City of Atlanta
Buckhead, we hardly knew ya! Credit: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Opponents of the Buckhead cityhood movement — hereafter referred to as "Buckxit" — say the proposed municipality comes with a host of complexities about operating city services and schools, whether the new municipality is on the hook for things like bond debt and pensions and how these might affect Atlanta in the future.

Why it matters: Losing the affluent swath of north Atlanta neighborhoods would cost City Hall as much as $116 million and Atlanta Public Schools $232 million in tax revenue, according to a study by KB Advisory Group and paid for by the Buckhead Coalition, the north Atlanta business group opposed to cityhood.

Thomas Wheatley
Oct 5, 2021 - News

Georgia catches redistricting fever

Illustration of two hands holding markers like crossed swords, one marker is red one marker is blue.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Gerrymandering experts are circling Georgia, one of the nation's newest swing states, to monitor the upcoming special legislative session where state lawmakers will redraw state and congressional political maps based on the recent census data.

  • One take, from the Princeton Gerrymandering Project: the map is bad, but not as bad as it could be, and it gives Georgia Republicans an expected advantage.
Kristal Dixon
Oct 4, 2021 - Politics

Low morale hinders Atlanta police recruitment

Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia fist bumps a police officer.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp greets a police officer with a fist bump. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

While metro Atlanta law enforcement agencies are praising Gov. Brian Kemp's decision to give $1,000 bonuses to officers and first responders, they say the move is only the first step in addressing long-running issues of recruitment and retention.

Why it matters. Police departments say low morale has put a dent in their efforts to recruit for positions that are under intense scrutiny by the public amid high-profile officer-involved shootings in Atlanta and around the country.

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