Technical issues delay DeKalb County primary election results

Technical issues delay DeKalb County primary election results
Published: Jun. 1, 2022 at 6:06 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - Three different candidates are united over election concerns in the county they hope to represent.

Michelle Long Spears alerted officials to a problem in the DeKalb County Commissioner District 2 race the Wednesday after the primary election. Spears said she noticed she received zero votes at more than a dozen precincts, including the one she voted at.

“I was shocked, I was alarmed, and I didn’t know what to think,” said Spears. “Folks around the entire U.S. have contacted us scratching their heads asking what happened in this county commissioner race.”

One week later, the DeKalb Board of Registration and Elections is still trying to find an answer.

After a recount by hand, county officials announced it is delaying certification in the general primary election after a series of technical issues. The county did not specify the issues but shared it is working with the Georgia Secretary of State to determine what caused the problem.

Spears and the two other candidates, Marshall Orson and Lauren Alexander, worry about future implications.

“We want some certainty – some assurances our election system is going to be free of serious defects,” said Orson.

“This is a bellwether for what could happen in the fall if we aren’t paying attention,” said Alexander.

The Secretary of State must certify election results by June 10. Early voting for a run-off election starts June 13. A delay of a few days poses a challenge for candidates and constituents.

“It’s going to be a real tight turnaround. I think the absentee process is not going to be here for some people going on vacation,” explained Alexander.

The Secretary of State could impose a penalty if the county does not certify results on time, including a fine. Counties that continuously have problems also face closer scrutiny. A representative tells CBS46 it will look into investigating “as the dust settles” and will focus on facilitating a smooth election season.