Cobb County’s elections board certified county results for the Nov. 3 election Friday, as a recount started for the presidential election.
The board unanimously voted to make the results official, which show a total of 396,551 Cobb residents voted in the election, or 73.76% of registered voters. Of those, 149,911 were absentee by mail, 174,979 were cast early in person, and 71,117 were in person on Election Day. An additional 544 votes were provisional ballots.
In 2016’s presidential election, 424,176 Cobb voters cast their ballots, 79.09% of registered voters in the county.
As of Cobb’s certified results, Democrats swept races for many the county’s most important offices.
Democrat Lisa Cupid was elected chair of the Cobb Board of Commissioners, earning 203,844 votes or 53.15%, over incumbent Chairman Mike Boyce’s 179,667 votes.
In the commission race for District 2, Democrat Jerica Richardson scraped a victory with just under a one-point lead, with 53,776, or 50.49% of the vote over Republican Fitz Johnson’s 52,724 votes (49.51%).
Democrat Craig Owens will replace incumbent Republican Sheriff Neil Warren, receiving 213,143 votes (55.24%), 40,437 more than Warren’s 172,706.
Democrat Flynn Broady will be Cobb’s new district attorney next year, with 197,553 votes, or 51.34%. Republican District Attorney Joyette Holmes earned 187,241 votes.
Election Day went “very smooth,” Cobb Elections Director Janine Eveler told board members at their meeting Friday.
“That’s attributable to so many voters voting early and by mail. We also did a great deal of training for the poll workers that we didn’t have an opportunity to do for the June election,” she said.
Eveler said 73.76% turnout was a low percentage for a presidential election, but that was because many more people have registered to vote in the last four years.
“Since 2016, we’ve had automatic voter registration through driver services, so that has increased the number of people registered, even though perhaps they haven’t actually voted,” she said.
Since Election Day, election workers found a few errors, which were fixed by the time results were certified, Eveler said.
Earlier this week, workers found 340 ballots that had not been counted due to a scanner at the Roswell 01 precinct that was not uploaded to the system. Another 25 ballots from the Kennesaw 2A precinct were added after workers found a scanner malfunction prevented those votes from being counted, and 34 ballots from the adjudication process were added to the results.
And, elections officials added another two absentee ballots that were turned in on time but either had a missing signature or a signature mismatch, and were cured later, Eveler said.
“It’s a good thing that you find these things because then I can say I’ve checked everything,” she said. “The anomalies we have found, we have corrected.”
Friday, Cobb election workers started a recount ordered by Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger for the presidential election. If results from the recount are different from the certified results, the board will reconvene to re-certify the results of that race, Eveler said.
As of Friday, former Vice President Joe Biden was leading over President Donald Trump by 14,122 votes statewide, and in Cobb Biden was ahead by 56,387. With 114 of Georgia’s 159 counties having certified results, multiple media outlets have projected Biden the winner of the state’s 16 electoral votes.
After the results were certified, board members asked the elections director to explain measures the elections office is taking to protect the recount process.
Eveler said the workers are a mix of full-time county elections staff, poll workers and those who counted absentee ballots, as well as some additional temporary staff. These groups are being separated upon arrival to the recount site, and assigned to different tables to sort votes.
“Our thought was if people were coming together, they may be friends, they may have some alliance, and so they were separated in the tables when they came in, and the second person came from a later group,” she said.
Teams of two confirm together which candidate is on the ballot before sorting it, and the sorted ballots are then counted by a machine. The teams sign each batch they work on.
County election offices have until 11:59 p.m. Wednesday to submit recount figures to the Georgia Secretary of State.