Two Mableton candidates removed from municipal ballot over bounced checks

A Cobb County Spokesman told Atlanta News First it is not that rare for candidate’s checks to bounce.
Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 11:44 PM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Bad checks have bounced two candidates off the ballot in Mableton’s first-ever municipal election.

Cobb residents voted in November to make the unincorporated Mableton area of about 40,000 people into a new city of nearly 80,000 people, which will include unincorporated parts of Austell and Smyrna.

Last week 30 people added their names to the ballot for the upcoming election, including Henry Okafor.

“I love Mableton,” Okafor said. “This is my vision and my passion to be a mayor.”

Okafor says he wrote Cobb County a $900 check, which was the “qualifying fee” to run for mayor.

City Council members had to pay $600, according to Cobb County.

But Okafor’s check bounced, along with Paul Chuckelu’s, who is running for council district 3.

“It’s not my fault. I put money there. There’s supposed to be more than $900 and they said oh no it wasn’t enough when the check cleared,” Okafor said.

Okafor explained that he recently spent thousands of dollars traveling to Africa to attend his father’s funeral. When he returned to the United States, he says he deposited money into his bank account, but it did not post before Cobb County cashed the $900 check.

Cobb County Spokesman, Ross Cavit, tells Atlanta News First it is not that rare for candidate’s checks to bounce, but he was surprised it happened twice in this new city’s first-ever election.

“I was so mad. I was so disappointed. I cried because this is my vision. This is my plan to help people in Mableton,” Okafor said.

Cobb Elections Director Janine Eveler says Mr. Okafor has until Feb. 3 to prove that the returned check was a bank error. If he does not, his name will not appear on the March 21 municipal election ballot.