Recount shows Cumming Council Post 1 tied

Runoff to be held Dec. 5

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CUMMING, Ga. — After initial results showed the Cumming City Council Post 1 race was decided by three votes, a recount has shown it was in fact a tie that will force a runoff Dec. 5.

The initial count Nov. 7 showed incumbent Chuck Welch losing to Chad Crane by three vote. However after the close call, the Forsyth County Board of Registrations and Elections ordered a recanvas of the paper ballots for the race to ensure a proper count.

Supervisor of Voter Registrations and Elections Barb Luth said there was a one-vote difference after the recount so the board voted to visually examine the ballots. They found one ballot that, although it was clearly marked for Welch, wasn’t reading properly through the machine.

“The person who voted put a few marks in the bubble, but not everything was in the bubble,” Luth said. “It wasn’t picking up that vote. When changing that ballot, it came out to an exact tie with each candidate getting 441 votes.”

Initially, the board was unsure what to do because city bylaws do not address a tie vote in an election. Luth said the board will follow state laws and will hold a runoff Dec. 5.

Advanced voting will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Nov. 27 to Dec. 1. On Election Day, Dec. 5, polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Anyone who wants a mail-in ballot will have to apply for one, even if they did it for the first election. They will need to have a new application submitted for the runoff.

“In all my 20 years, I’ve never had a tie or a vote that actually came that close,” Luth said. “Some cities have in their charter what to do if there’s a tie. But the City of Cumming does not. The provisions in the state code allow for a runoff. Some cities toss a coin, draw a card or roll a dice.”

More than 35 percent of voters came out on Election Day, and Luth said she hopes that will increase for the runoff.

“If they can get out and vote for their candidate, we’ll see who comes ahead,” Luth said. “People should get out there and vote. Usually a runoff brings out fewer voters, but we’re hoping for more.”


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