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Outcome likely to stand
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Forsyth County News

In a runoff election where every vote truly counted -- and may even be recounted -- the result of the District 5 Forsyth County commissioner's race could come down to Friday afternoon.

Though unlikely enough to change the outcome, both Republican candidates could find more votes when the provisional tally is complete on Friday, making the results official.

As of Wednesday, Jim Boff led Julie Tressler by 29 votes. Boff had 3,158 votes to Tressler's 3,129, or 50.23 percent to 49.77 percent.

Forsyth's Chief Voter Registrar Gary J. Smith said the deadline for any overseas ballots is about 3:30 p.m. Friday.

"The last mail run on Friday is the cutoff," Smith said. "Any ballots that come in from overseas voters are counted as cast ballots as long as they come in within that time period."

Smith said there are still 72 outstanding ballots that haven't come in yet. And they may not. He estimated that his office will receive only about 10 more ballots.

Still, Smith said that if Tressler were to receive 30 more votes and Boff got none, she would take the lead.

"If she got 29 ballots, we'd have a dead heat," Smith said. "If she only got 28, she would still lose. Is that going to happen? I don't know."

Smith said Tressler is also within her rights to request a recount because the difference is less than 1 percent.

Tressler said Wednesday morning she didn't think she had to ask for a recount, that it would be automatic in this case. Regardless, she said she did not plan to concede the race until Friday.

Smith said he'll be reviewing the recount process, just in case.

"The procedure would be to run all the memory cards again and run the absentee ballots," Smith said.

Overall, turnout for Tuesday's runoff was in line with Smith's projection of about 8 percent. Of Forsyth County's more than 87,000 registered voters, 7,225 cast ballots.

Turnout for the July 15 primary in Forsyth County was nearly 17 percent.

The Republican ballot Tuesday featured one other local contest.

Greg Allen was elected Forsyth County's next Clerk of Superior Court, topping Charles Adams with 64 percent of the vote.

On the Democratic side, Forsyth voters preferred Jim Martin over Vernon Jones for U.S. Senate.
Martin, who also won statewide to advance to a November's showdown with Republican incumbent Saxby Chambliss, received 824 votes to 77 for Jones, or a 91 percent to 9 percent breakdown.

Staff Writer Frank Reddy contributed to this report.