Muscogee County board rejects majority of provisional ballots from Nov. 6 election

Though it faced no partisan bickering over which ballots were counted and which were not, the Muscogee County Board of Elections and Registrations spent about six hours sifting through provisional ballots Tuesday to certify Columbus’ Nov. 6 vote tallies.

The five-member board started at 10:30 a.m., took 30 minutes for lunch and finally finished up about 5:15 p.m., said Nancy Boren, its executive director.

It had 352 provisional ballots to consider, and accepted 130 while rejecting 222.

People cast provisional ballots when they encounter some problem at the polls that prohibits their voting on the touch-screen voting machines everyone else uses. Among the impediments may be lacking the required photo ID or not showing up on the voting rolls.

They file paper ballots that the elections board may count if the issue can be resolved, such as the voter’s later providing the missing ID, or elections workers’ finding the voter was registered and eligible to cast a ballot.

Ballots were rejected for various reasons, such as voters not being registered, being registered in another county, casting an absentee ballot in another county, or being a convicted felon ineligible to vote.

Most rejections involved voters living in other counties, Boren said.

The board also had to review 108 ballots cast electronically by voters serving overseas in the armed forces.

In the end, the board had an overall count of 63,468 ballots out of 112,540 voters, a midterm turnout of 56.4 percent.

The official results

Here are the official, certified results for Muscogee County:

Governor: Brian Kemp, Republican, 24,348, 38.47 percent; Stacey Abrams, Democrat, 38,462, 60.76 percent; Ted Metz, Libertarian, 462, .73 percent; 25 write-ins.

Lieutenant Governor: Geoff Duncan, Republican, 23,672, 39.98 percent; Sarah Riggs Amico, Democrat, 35,506, 59.96 percent; 39 write-ins.

Secretary of State (Dec. 4 runoff): Brad Raffensperger, Republican, 23,593, 37.91 percent; John Barrow, Democrat, 37,424, 60.13 percent; Smythe Duval, Libertarian, 1,199, 1.93 percent; 19 write-ins.

Attorney General: Chris Carr (incumbent), Republican, 24,229, 39.05 percent; Charlie Bailey, Democrat, 37,797, 60.91 percent; 26 write-ins.

Agriculture Commissioner: Gary Black (incumbent), Republican, 25,091, 40.69 percent; Fred Swann, Democrat, 36,544, 59.27 percent; 25 write-ins.

Insurance Commissioner: Jim Beck, Republican, 23,901, 38.59 percent; Janice Laws, Democrat, 36,643, 59.16 percent; Donnie Foster, Libertarian, 1,381, 2.23 percent; 14 write-ins.

State School Superintendent: Richard Woods (incumbent), Republican, 25,291, 40.69 percent; Otha E. Thornton Jr., Democrat, 36,807, 59.22 percent; 50 write-ins.

Labor Commissioner: Mark Butler (incumbent), Republican, 25,081, 40.46 percent; Richard Keatley, Democrat, 36,891, 59.51 percent; 24 write-ins.

Public Service Commissioner (Dec. 4 runoff): Chuck Eaton (incumbent), Republican, 23,926, 38.52 percent; Lindy Miller, Democrat, 36,834, 59.3 percent; Ryan Graham, Libertarian, 1,341, 2.16 percent; 13 write-ins.

Public Service Commissioner: Tricia Pridemore (incumbent), Republican, 24,008, 38.72 percent; Dawn A. Randolph, Democrat, 36,767, 59.29 percent; John Turpish, Libertarian, 1,216, 1.96 percent; 20 write-ins.

U.S. Representative, 2nd Congressional District: Herman West Jr., Republican, 12,065, 26.86 percent; Sanford Bishop (incumbent), Democrat, 32,823, 73.09 percent; 22 write-ins

U.S. Representative, 3rd Congressional District: Drew Ferguson (incumbent), Republican, 11,683, 66.38 percent; Chuck Enderlin, Democrat, 5,906, 33.56 percent; 11 write-ins.

Georgia Senate, District 29: Randy Robertson, Republican, 18,666, 61.34 percent; Valerie Haskins, Democrat, 11,738, 38.58 percent; 25 write-ins.

Constitutional Amendment 1, creating the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund: yes 50,723, 83.42 percent; no 10,081, 16.58 percent.

Constitutional Amendment 2, creating a statewide business court: yes 44,612, 74.34 percent; no 15,395, 25.66 percent.

Constitutional Amendment 3, encouraging conservation of working forests: yes 37,388, 63.1 percent; no 21,861, 36.9 percent.

Constitutional Amendment 4, providing crime victims’ rights: yes 51,214, 84.43 percent; no 9,445, 15.57 percent.

Constitutional Amendment 5, authorizing fair allocation of sales tax revenue for county and city school districts: yes 44,208, 73.85 percent; no 15,650, 26.15 percent.

Statewide referendum A, providing a homestead exemption for residents of certain municipal corporations: yes 33,470, 57.19 percent; no 25,050, 42.81 percent.

Statewide referendum B, providing a tax exemption for homes for the mentally disabled: yes 47,381, 79.34 percent; no 12,339, 20.66 percent.

Special Election, Superior Court Clerk: Danielle Forte, 31,884, 56.33 percent; Shasta Thomas Glover (incumbent), 24,385, 43.08 percent; 329 write-ins.

Local referendum, authorizing Columbus to permit Sunday alcohol sales by the drink starting at 11 a.m. instead of 12:30 p.m.: yes 40,470, 66.03 percent; no 20,821, 33.97 percent.

Columbus’ early voting for the two Dec. 4 state runoffs will be 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Nov. 26 through Nov. 30 in the Community Room of the City Services Center, 3111 Citizens Way.