Chatham Co. Board of Elections certifies result for Ga. House District 163 runoff

Chatham Co. Board of Elections certifies result for Ga. House District 163 runoff

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The Chatham County Board of Elections has officially certified the results for the Ga. House District 163 runoff.

The hand recount was the first in the entire state with the new voting system that just went into effect this year. Anne Allen Westbrook appealed to a Chatham County Superior Court Judge and was awarded the recount last month.

“It took them awhile to get all their counts accurate, but as they worked through them, they organized and little sub batches and all that counting by tens, counting by hundreds and working together as a team at the table and they nailed down each and every step," said Russell Bridges, Supervisor at the Chatham County Board of Elections. "This time they were able to balance and come back to the correct numbers.”

Bridges also says since this hasn’t been done before, they had little guidance on how this process would work.

“Each team was given a batch of ballots. They were not told how many ballots there were. And their job was to count the physical ballots so they could record how many bags they had in their group at the table.”

Then they will go through that a batch of ballots and they would remove all of those that were relevant to the recount, that had the race on them, then they would count that.

Then they were passed to campaign team members then announced to the Board of Election’s team members and compared to the results from the August 11 runoff.

Some members believe the recount could’ve gone smoother but others believe it went well.

“Having watched the counting at the end of the recount, I think we have come light miles from the beginning. This was all uncharted territory really," said Marianne Heimes, member (R) of the Chatham County Board of Elections.

The Board says 5,447 ballots were re-counted. Before the recount, there was a single vote difference between candidates Derek Mallow and Anne Allen Westbrook.

The official recount returned a variant of one vote, so the results had to be re-certified.

The outcome did not change, as Derek Mallow defeated Westbrook.

The board also announced they have a new warehouse to store election equipment and have trained 106 new poll workers for the general election.

The Elections Supervisor also says absentee ballot mailing will begin at the end of this week.


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Recount completed for Ga. House District 163 runoff; one vote changed meaning results need to be re-certified

The hand recount of a Georgia House race has finished.

Workers with the Chatham County Board of Elections Office have been counting by hand and balancing the total number of votes for candidates Anne Allen Westbrook and Derek Mallow against the previously certified results from the Aug. 11 runoff. It was a tight race during the runoff between the two, separated by only 20 votes.

According to both Westbrook and Mallow, the hand recount that’s been going on since last Wednesday, was different from the original count by one vote. So now, the results will have to be re-certified by the Chatham County Board of Elections, but the result will be the same, with Mallow victorious.

The hand recount was the first in the entire state with the new voting system that just went into effect this year. Westbrook appealed to a Chatham County Superior Court Judge and was awarded the recount last month.

For five days, a group of twelve people sifted through thousands of ballots, 30 at a time, tallying the votes for either Mallow or Westbrook until finishing today. So now, work for the Board of Elections and their employees will shift toward preparing for the General Election in November.

Elections Supervisor Russell Bridges said he thought the hand recount went, “pretty good.”

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