Snellville: Garraway asks for recount, says there’s a cloud over the election.

Bruce Garraway lost the Mayor’s race in Snellville by a slim 19 vote margin. It’s no surprise that he’d ask for a recount, but Garraway is also alleging problems with the conduct of the election and might seek legal action:

Garraway said supporters told him of problems at the polls, including some voters who filled out provisional ballots because they were not on registration rolls and one resident who “was denied the opportunity to vote completely.”

Garraway declined to discuss specifics of some of the complaints, saying he is consulting with an elections attorney.

In addition to questioning the accuracy of optical scan machines, Garraway said he heard of ethical problems in the operations at City Hall when polls were open.

“These are all questions that need to be answered,” he said. “In the end, the results may stay the same or they may change. … All these questions have created a cloud over this election.”

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  1. I Am Jacks Post says:

    I swear I’ve read this story before if you substitute “Garraway” with “Gore.”

    An elections attorney? Looks like Bruce is going to add to his 50k line of credit.

  2. drjay says:

    that sounds very similar to what happened to at least one prson in pooler–i have been kinda lying low about it b/c i guess i’m not a rabble rouser by nature–but my election is suppose to be certified tommorrow and although i am planning to ask for a recount as well-i am now wondering what other avenues may be open to me since i lost by one vote and i know of at least one vote i did not get b/c a neighbor of mine was turned away from the polls for what he contends at this point was a clerical error that occured when he tried to register to vote back in the spring…

  3. ChuckEaton says:

    Dr. Jay-

    I certainly can understand a candidate wanting to investigate irregularities at polling places, especially if they lost by a tight margin like you or Bruce Garraway, but in the day of electronic voting isn’t a recount moot?

    Maybe I’m missing something, but isn’t a recount the equivalent of hitting recalculate on the computer.

  4. drjay says:

    yes the votes on election would likely not change but the absentee ballots are still filled out by hand–if the total did change that is where the change would occur–also my neighbor insists he was duly registered–or at thought he had done what he needed to do to be duly registered when he got his license changed and was not allowed to even fill out a provisional–and he is looking at legal recourse for the right he feels he was denied–and my election has literally come down to 1 vote–so any little discepancy could really change the outcome…had you lost by 1 vote, i feel certain you would be looking at your options as well commissioner…

  5. ChuckEaton says:

    Dr. Jay-

    Just to be clear, there is no doubt that had I lost by one vote I would be looking at all of my options and find no fault with what you are doing.

    I tried to be clear in my prior post that if a candidate, especially one who lost by a slim margin, thought there were polling place irregularities then by all means he should encourage an investigation.

    I’m fully aware of the hard work and emotional roller coster involved in being a candidate. Because of my experience, I’d be very cautious of passing judgement on any candidate who felt the process was unfair.

    My only question was regarding the need to ask for a “recount” in the age of electronic voting, but was reminded of absentee and provisional ballots.

    Good luck in finding out the facts and know that I’m sympathetic as I’ve been on both sides of the coin. Although in my first run for elected office I think I received about 25% of the vote so it would have been quite a stretch to blame it on anything other then being a bad candidate.

  6. ChuckEaton says:

    I understand your stress.

    On another note, I’ve recently been told that not all municipalities use touch screen voting during city elections and that Snellville uses a “scan-tron” type sheet for its elections. Which basically puts the election is a sitution where, in addition to the absentee and provisional ballots, a recount is more than justified.

  7. GabrielSterling says:

    As I understand it, in the Snellville election it is not the electronic touch screens, but the scantron, bubble in ballots. Plus there were people attempting to present absentee ballots on Monday that were turned away. There are a good many items that have put a cloud ove ther election outcome.

  8. Mike Hauncho says:

    The Snellville Mayors race was upheld and Garraway is thinking about a lawsuit but no word yet. From what I have heard his attorney was not recommending it.

  9. maestro7 says:

    As someone else said at the top of the commentary thread: Are we sure that Garraway isn’t Gore?

    People, there are no perfect elections. There is always a certain percentage of the vote that gets skewed for whatever reason. However, don’t you think the local media would be all over a true act of malfeasance?

    For once it would be nice to see a politician act like a statesman.

  10. ChuckEaton says:

    So if someone loses and election by 19 votes and it’s well within your “certain percentage of the vote that gets skewed” margin, that person is supposed to consider the election simply a game of chance – a coin toss and “act like a statesman”?

  11. GabrielSterling says:

    So maestro, you trust the Atlanta media to be the arbiters of what is a “true act of malfeasance”?

    Let Garraway review his options. Don’t call the man “Gore”. Both sides should feel comfortable that the outcome is fair and on the up and up.

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