DeKalb certifies Nov. 3 election results, hand recount upcoming

Dekalb County’s elections board certified results Nov. 12 from the Nov. 3 General Election in which more than 373,000 ballots were cast. 

During the Nov. 12 special called meeting of the board, Elections Director Erica Hamilton said more than 300 absentee ballots were cured, or fixed, for errors and out of the more than 1,800 provisional ballots, more than 700 of them were rejected or not counted. 

Per the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, if a voter tries to cast a ballot at the wrong precinct, they cast a provisional ballot and only the races relevant to their assigned precinct are counted. Provisional ballots are also used for any votes cast during court extended voting hours and when a voter attempts to cast a ballot but is not listed as a registered voter. The latter ballots are set aside until county officials or the voter clarifies their registration status.

Dekalb County’s elections board certified results Nov. 12 from the Nov. 3 General Election in which more than 373,000 ballots were cast. Pictured is the Valley Brook polling precinct on Election Day. Photo by Jay Phillips

“Most of the provisional ballots were people that voted out of their precinct and that happens on a regular basis,” she said. “We’ve reached out to those individuals or are in the process of reaching out to those individuals to let them know why their ballot was rejected and how they can cure that for future elections.”

Hamilton said in the coming week, the elections department also plans to include a section on its website dekalbvotes.com that allows voters to view why their ballot was rejected.

In the meantime, the department is prepping for a hand recount of all votes as required in all Georgia counties due to the close margin of victory of President-elect Joe Biden over President Donald Trump.

With more than 5 million votes cast in Georgia, Biden led Trump by 14,108 votes as of Nov. 11, drawing focus to a state that a Democratic presidential nominee has not won since 1992 and which is set for two runoff elections on Jan. 5 that could decide the balance of power in the U.S. Senate, according Capitol Beat News Service.

All 159 county elections boards in Georgia will have until the state’s certification deadline of Nov. 20 to hand count every in-person, mail-in and provisional ballot cast in General Election, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said at a news conference Nov. 11.

DeKalb’s recount is planned to begin at 7 a.m. Nov. 14 in two shifts at one of the county’s largest early voting sites–the former Sam’s Club in Stonecrest. The two shifts each will include approximately 150 tabulators staffed by the county. Designated locations for public observers, news outlets and Secretary of State monitors will be identified, according to a DeKalb County news release.

Dekalb’s 2020 General Election results can be viewed at the following link: https://www.dekalbcountyga.gov/sites/default/files/ElectionSummaryReportRPT%20-%2011.9.2020%20-%20809p.pdf.

Some DeKalb County voters will also vote in upcoming runoff elections. The Doraville District 1 special election runoff and the special election for Georgia’s 5th Congressional District will be held Dec. 1. The runoffs for Georgia’s two U.S. Senate races are scheduled for Jan. 5.

*EDITOR’S NOTE: This article has been updated to provide details regarding DeKalb County’s vote count.

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