By Jack Phillips
An overlooked memory card in Cobb County, Georgia, with uncounted ballots changed the final results of a special election, officials have said.
The county’s Board of Elections and Registration voted to recertify the results of the Nov. 8 Kennesaw City Council special election during a Nov. 18 meeting, according to a statement.
“The recertification was necessary after workers discovered a memory card had not been included in the previous results. The additional ballots resulted in a change in the Kennesaw City Council Post 1 Special Election,” the release said.
Madelyn Orochena was originally declared the winner of the special election. However, when additional ballots were located on the memory card, Lynette Burnette was shown as the winner of the race by 31 votes, officials told local media.
“Unfortunately, once found we did upload it, and it changed the outcome of the Kennesaw City Council race,” Janine Eveler, Cobb County’s director of elections, told local media outlets.
Cobb election officials said that the memory card was located in Kennesaw when workers were preparing for an audit of the election, according to 11Alive. Further details weren’t provided about why the card was overlooked or where it was located.
A recount was conducted on Nov. 20.
Orochena wrote in a Facebook post that she would file a complaint with the Georgia Secretary of State’s office.
“I planned to celebrate with family and friends and supporters afterwards. We had no reason to expect otherwise,” Orochena told WSB-TV, adding that she’s “just doing all that I can do that’s within my rights to regain some confidence that this was a fair election.”
Meanwhile, Burnette released a statement to Fox5 that said she’s “humbled to have the opportunity to serve the people of Kennesaw, it may have been an unconventional election … I look forward to keeping Kennesaw the best community.”
Following the Dec. 6 runoff election between Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) and Republican candidate Herschel Walker, Cobb County officials will investigate how the memory card was overlooked, officials told local media.