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15 extra votes found in Fulton sheriff’s election recount
by Everett Catts
August 16, 2012 12:09 PM | 5552 views | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
During the Fulton County sheriff’s July 31 Democratic primary election recount, 15 extra votes were found but they did not make a difference in the outcome.

Incumbent Ted Jackson retained his outright victory with 50.05 percent of the vote against four challengers. The second vote-getter, former Fulton Sheriff Richard Lankford, had 32.46 percent and requested the recount. Frank L. Brown (9.25), Charles Shelton (4.76) and Curtis S. Farmer (3.48) rounded out the voting.

The original certified election results yielded the same percentages for each candidate. The recount took place Aug. 8 and was certified Monday. It determined there were 15 extra votes: eight for Jackson, three for Lankford, three for Shelton and one for Brown, Alicia Phillips, a spokeswoman for the Fulton County Department of Registration and Elections, wrote in an email.

Jackson’s vote total was close enough to warrant a recount without Lankford’s request, Phillips wrote.

In an email earlier this month, Lankford wrote he requested the recount because of errors in how the county counted ballots.

“Because of serious inconsistencies in the vote tabulation and what we detect as programmable error in their new counting system, we believe that [the] recount using the standard ‘one card-per each machine’ system is going to yield a drastic difference in vote totals,” he wrote.

Lankford did not respond to emails last week and today seeking comment on the recount results.

By state law, a candidate must receive 50 percent plus one vote to win any election. A runoff would have taken place this Tuesday.

In other news, Jared Thomas, a spokesman for the secretary of state’s office, said in a phone interview Thursday it is investigating Fulton’s election results, since some residents, including those in one Sandy Springs precinct, voted for state legislative candidates in other districts due to mistakes the county made when it adjusted the district maps following redistricting last year.

“We’re still working on that right now,” he said. “There’s definitely a sense of urgency and we’re committed to make sure any problems are addressed so they’re not repeated.”

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