Republican Mark LaJoye explored the possibility of asking for a recount of Tuesday’s election that saw him soundly defeated by Democratic incumbent Sheriff John Darr, but apparently decided against it.
Results from the Department of Elections and Registrations had Darr with 76 percent or 51,311 votes to 24 percent or 16,201 for LaJoye. LaJoye lost by 35,110 votes.
According to the Georgia Secretary of State, a candidate by law is not entitled to an automatic recount unless the difference in the tally is within 1 percent.
Director of Elections and Registrations Nancy Boren said for LaJoye to receive a recount he must show vote discrepancy, error or fraud. There had been nothing from Republican or Democratic poll watchers on Tuesday to indicate any issues, Boren said.
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On Friday, LaJoye said representatives of his campaign had talked with Boren about a possible recount. He would have had to file the request before the Board of Elections and Registrations certified the results.
“Good gracious,” was Darr’s initial response to a possible recount. “I don’t even know what to say to that.”
Asked what grounds he would seek the recount, LaJoye said, “I would rather not go into that right now.” Boren said LaJoye’s representatives expressed concern that Darr votes were counted twice. Even if you cut Darr’s total in half, he would have still won by more than 9,000 votes.
The total number of votes cast in the sheriff’s race was consistent with vote totals in other contested county-wide races, Boren said.
Darr, who narrowly won the Democratic primary in July, said the general election result is “pretty obvious.”
“It is what it is,” Darr said. “The people spoke and they don’t want him to be their sheriff.”