City voters will again try to decide the next Post 1 city of Cumming councilman Tuesday following a rare tie that occurred Nov. 7.
Election Day is Tuesday for the city council race between Incumbent Chuck Welch and challenger Chad Crane, both of whom received 441 votes for the seat in November. Barbara Luth, supervisor of Forsyth County’s department of voter registrations and elections, said there is a lot of interest in the race among voters.
“We’re getting about 60-65 a day for advance voting, so we’re hoping Election Day is going to pick up too,” she said. “I think [the numbers] are pretty good for a runoff. Runoffs be can very, very slow, but the candidates are getting them out.”
Advance voting was held Nov. 27-Dec. 1 at Cumming City Hall and brought out 244 voters through Thursday. There were 61 voters on Monday, 54 on Tuesday, 65 on Wednesday and 64 by Thursday.
On Tuesday, voting hours will be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at city hall, where all voting in the election has taken place. Voters must have proper ID to vote.
The city of Cumming does not typically hold election runoffs — instead, the candidate with the most votes wins, unlike Forsyth County and other municipalities which require a runoff if no candidate reaches 50 percent of votes plus one vote.
Crane was found to be the winner by three votes on Election Day after he received 441 votes to Welch’s 438.
That changed at an election certification event less than a week later, when two mail-in ballots and one paper ballot were found to be in favor of Welch. The paper ballot was apparently not correctly bubbled in, according to an elections official, which initially caused some confusion.
There was also further confusion following the meeting as to what would come next since the city charter does not say what to do if a tie is reached. State rules called for a runoff for the race.
Luth said a tie vote is unusual.
“This is a very rare election,” she said. “I’ve never had an election that has ever ended in a tie.”
Recently, both candidates said they were confident in their chances in the runoff.
Welch said he was happy about the updated numbers and was confident in his chances in a runoff.
“I’m glad it’s a tie because I love being a city councilman and serving the people in the city of Cumming,” Welch said. “You never think something like this could ever be a tie, but I’m thankful it is and I’m looking forward to getting the victory on Dec. 5.”
Crane said he believed city residents had voted for a change and he could help make it happen.
“I’m excited for the challenge; I look forward to the runoff,” Crane said. “That’s one of the things that makes this country great is that we have fair and honest elections. Hats off to the election committee for putting in the extra time and finding out the correct and accurate numbers of votes.”
View election results online Tuesday at ForsythNews.com and in print on Friday.