Cobb County’s recount of ballots cast in 13 of 144 precincts for one Georgia House race will begin on Wednesday, according to elections officials. No other recounts will be conducted in Cobb for the June 9 primary.
The county announced Friday evening that it would conduct a recount of the 13 precincts covering House District 35, which is currently held by state Rep. Ed Setzler, R-Acworth.
In the Democratic primary for Setzler’s seat, Lisa Campbell received 2,751 votes, Kyle Rinaudo received 2,033, and Elizabeth Webster received 2,014, prompting a runoff between Campbell and Rinaudo.
Webster requested the recount, arguing there were only 19 votes, or .28%, between her and Rinaudo.
Cobb Elections Director Janine Eveler said Monday the recount will begin at 9 a.m. Wednesday. She said elections workers will have to scan 7,369 ballots, “so it will take quite a while.”
Eveler said a recount requires a rescanning of ballots cast in the race, and no hand-counting is authorized.
In order to request a recount, she said the losing candidate must be within one-half of one percent of the winning candidate.
Eveler pointed out that Gregory Gilstrap, one of three candidates in the Democratic primary race for sheriff, requested a recount in the race on Monday, but was denied that ability. He did not come within the required margin to request such a recount, she said.
Craig Owens, a major in the Cobb County Police Department, won the Democratic nomination with 50.2% of the vote, narrowly avoiding a runoff election in August. If candidates hope to avoid a runoff, they must secure 50% plus one vote.
Gilstrap took 26.6%, while fellow candidate Jimmy Herndon took 23.2%.
Candidates requesting a recount must also submit their request in writing within two days of certification of the election. The Cobb Board of Elections certified the June 9 elections at its noon Friday meeting, and Webster submitted her request hours later.
If the original count in a recounted race turns out to be incorrect, said Eveler, the revised returns will again have to be certified by the Board of Elections.
Of about 518,000 eligible voters in the county, 36.3%, or almost 188,000, cast a ballot in the primary elections.
Final election numbers weren’t available for more than a week after the final ballots were cast due to a record-breaking number of absentee ballots that overwhelmed elections staff.