NEWS & ANALYSIS

Anti-Trump Group Donated $85k to Atlanta Election Judges, Auditors Want it Returned


An anti-Trump nonprofit group donated a whopping $85,000 to election administrators in Georgia last fall to encourage black votes. Now, auditors want some of that money returned. 

The Fulton County Auditor said that county election officials failed to use all of the Southern Poverty Center’s grant for buying absentee ballot drop boxes and didn’t obey the rule of publicly disclosing how many ballots were collected, Just the News reports. 

“The grant specified that any unused funds were to be returned to the SPLC by December 31, 2020. During our review, we identified that (21) ballot drop boxes were purchased on September 10, 2020 for a total cost of $40,614,” the auditor reported. “We also noted that as of the date of our review, the remaining $44,386 had not been returned to the SPLC and the funds remain in the Registration and Election Department’s budget.” 

“Failure to return grant funds by the agreed upon deadline may lead to misuse of funds, restriction of future funding, as well as inaccurate record-keeping and financial reporting,” the auditors noted. 

The audit criticized Fulton County’s election division for failing to comply with the grant requirement. 

“We were informed by management that the request for this information to be placed on the County’s website was made verbally, but not in writing,” the auditors wrote. “Failure to adhere to agreed upon grant requirements could lead to revocation of grant funds or prohibition of future funds.”