The DeKalb County Voter Registration and Election office did not certify their election results ahead of Tuesday’s 5:00 PM deadline. Workers are currently hand-counting votes in the DeKalb County Commission 2 race due to a programming error that caused an entire precinct to not have their votes counted.
Brookhaven, Chamblee, Decatur, Tucker and portions of East Atlanta make up the district.
DeKalb Elections Board Chair Dele Lowman Smith explained that there was a technical glitch that did not completely remove a candidate, Don Broussard, from the reporting system, so votes were incorrectly assigned to the candidates when they were reported.
During a 4:30 PM call among board members, concerned citizens and campaign staffers voiced their opinions regarding the slow count.
One week after Georgia’s Primary Election Day, there were no public results for the race. Ramifications mean DeKalb County could be late in submitting election results, which could be reprimanded with a fine from the Georgia State Board of Elections.
DeKalb Voter Registration and Election Office staffers quickly pointed out the lively discussions about ensuring that everyone’s vote counts. Secondly, the fact that the poll workers are employed on a volunteer basis.
The DeKalb Republican Party Chairwoman, Marci McCarthy, applauded the Board’s ability to present the information in a forthright manner.
“I do agree that we have to ensure fitness, faith, integrity and trust in our elections introduced so we have to get all the clarity and the answers or answers to our questions,” McCarthy said. “Because quite frankly, you’ve seen this team working together in a bipartisan manner. There’s a lot of unanswered questions and we absolutely have to ensure that this does not happen in November. But more importantly we’ve got to make sure that the candidates that are supposed to be in a runoff are in correctly in a runoff.”
Michelle Long Spears, Democratic Candidate in the District 2 DeKalb County Commissioners race, said her team has been fighting for election integrity not just for this race, but for statewide races in November. Spears said she collected over a dozen photos of precincts where she had zero votes after May 24th’s primary election.
“I hope that the county gets to the bottom of this issue very soon for sure that this does not happen to another candidate, and another race ever again,” Spears said. “So we can all feel confident and trust our voting system and to give candidates enough time to prepare for a runoff coming up quickly three weeks from today on June 21st.”
The board members admitted they can do a better job of communicating with the public and will strive to do that, understanding the potentially harmful precedent they could set.
The Secretary of State is scheduled to certify primary election results by June 10.
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