The Newnan Times-Herald


Provisional ballots could swing races

  • By Sarah Fay Campbell
  • |
  • Nov. 08, 2018 - 8:27 AM

It ain't over 'til it’s over.

That’s the case when it comes to the Nov. 6 general election – especially in Grantville.

A race for a Grantville council seat was as close as they come – Councilman Willie Kee is losing his seat to former mayor Jim Sells by just one vote. In the four-way race, no candidate received 50 percent of the vote, but that doesn't matter – Grantville’s charter doesn’t require runoffs when a candidate fails to get a majority.

But the final total in that race won’t be known until all the county’s provisional ballots are counted. And that won’t happen until after 4:30 p.m. Friday.

There are 24 Coweta absentee ballots that have signature issues. Under a court ruling, those must be treated as provisional ballots, and the voters have until 4:30 p.m. Friday to provide information to the Coweta Voter Registration office to clear up the discrepancies.

Three of those ballots are from Grantville.

Letters have been sent to all voters with the pending ballots, and those who provided phone numbers or email addresses have been called and emailed, said Coweta Elections Superintendent Jane Scoggins.

There were also 14 provisional ballots cast at polling places Tuesday, but those aren’t expected to swing any local races. Eleven of those ballots were cast by people who arrived at the wrong polling place. Typically, voters who go to the wrong polling place are sent to the correct polling place to cast their ballots.

But if it’s nearly time for the polls to close and voters wouldn’t be able to get to the correct polling place in time, they are allowed to cast a provisional ballot, Scoggins said. Two other ballots were cast by people who weren’t on the voter lists at the polling places but were on the state’s list of registered voters. The last provisional ballot was cast by a voter who was registered in another county, and it won’t count, Scoggins said.

Voter turnout in Coweta was 63.52 percent, with 58,176 ballots cast, according to the Secretary of State’s office. That’s high, but not as high as Scoggins expected it to be based on high early voting turnout.

Some polling places experienced lines at times during election day, and some still had voters in line at 7 p.m. The Jefferson Parkway precinct had a large number of voters in line at 7 p.m. and poll workers didn’t arrive at the elections office with voting machines and memory cards until 11:35 Tuesday night.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams is waiting on provisional ballots across the state to be counted to determine if there will be a runoff in the governor’s race.

Scoggins said she had been visited by multiple people Wednesday from the Democratic Party, as well as someone from the Abrams campaign, who were requesting provisional ballot information.