After some delay, results for the June 9 primary have been certified, and nearly 50,000 local voters cast a ballot through absentee or in-person voting.
The certification was made official on Friday, June 19, at a called meeting of the Forsyth County Board of Voter Registrations and Elections.
“This election was certainly different from most,” said Mandi Smith, director of Forsyth County’s Voter Registrations and Elections Department. “We encountered several big challenges: the implementation of a completely new voting system in the time of a pandemic. Each election teaches us many things –and this was no exception.
“The implementation of the new voting system went very well overall. The most challenging part of the process was holding an election during a pandemic. We experienced a severe reduction in poll workers who were available to work during this election. Most of our poll workers fall into those high-risk categories that were still being recommended to shelter in place due to COVID-19.”
Smith said the certification of the results had been pushed back after her department had heard from Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger’s office "about extending the period of time some absentee voters had to cure their ballot.”
“To explain, when a voted absentee ballot is returned and it is missing the voter’s signature on the Oath of Elector or the signature on the Oath does not match the signature that we have on file for the voter, our office will mail (and possibly phone/email based on the contact information we have available) the voter a letter with instructions for how to ‘cure’ their ballot so that it will count,” she said. “Those instructions are for the voter to complete a cure Affidavit to sign and to return it along with a copy of their identification to our office.”
While voters must typically provide that information by the Friday following an election, Smith said they made the decision to extend the deadline to give voters more time since “several thousand” absentee ballots came in in the days leading up to and on election day.
According to an election summary report from the county, 49,172 voters cast ballots in the primary, or 31.34% of the county’s 156,922 registered voters, with 27,351 voting absentee by-mail, 15,176 votings on election day, 6,562 advance voting in-person and 83 voting via provisional ballots.
Smith said 91 total provisional ballots were issued for the election and eight “were rejected because the voters did not register to vote in Forsyth County by the voter registration deadline.”
The results solidify results previously projected by Forsyth County News for the races, including:
• Republican Rich McCormick and Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux each winning their party’s nomination for Georgia 7th Congressional District,
• Deputy Coroner Paul Holbrook defeating former Forsyth County Sheriff Ted Paxton for coroner,
• District 3 Board of Education member Tom Cleveland beating out Republican challenger Barry Herring,
• District 5 BOE candidate Lindsey Adams beating out opponent Bibi Lopez,
• District 4 Commissioner Cindy Jones Mills defeating three Republican challengers, which, with no Democrats running, means she will serve a third term on the seat she has held since 2013.
Though several races drew a large number of candidates, including seven Republicans and six Democrats in the District 7 primaries and four candidates in the District 4 BOC race, they will not be going to a runoff, which is required when no candidate receives at least 50% of the vote plus one vote.
The only races that will require a runoff are for the Republican nomination for Georgia’s 9th Congressional District between Andrew Clyde and Matt Gurtler, who received 24,665 and 28,394 votes, respectively, of the 133,440 total ballots cast in the nine-candidate race, and the Democratic nomination for that seat, between Devin Pandy, who received 9,504 of the 25,591 ballots cast, and Brooke Siskin, who received 11,821 votes.
At the state level, a runoff will be held for the Republican nomination for Georgia’s 9th state House District between Steve Leibel, who received 2,748 votes out of 13,437 cast, and Will Wade, who earned 4,617 votes. The winner will face Democrat Sharon Ravert.
Note: The winner will face incumbent Republican Sen. David Perdue in November.
Sarah Riggs Amico: 11.96% (1,837 votes)
Marckeith DeJesus: 2.74% (421)
James Knox: 2.40% (369)
Tricia Carpenter McCracken: 2.17% (333)
Jon Ossoff: 60.13% (9,233)
Maya Dillard Smith: 5.01% (769)
Teresa Pike Tomlinson: 15.59% (2,394)
Total votes: 15,356
U.S. House, District 7
Lisa Noel Babbage: 4.95% (993)
Mark Gonsalves: 6.49% (1,303)
Lynne Homrich: 10.08% (2,024)
Zachary H. Kennemore: 2.09% (419)
Rich McCormick: 61.13% (12,271)
Renee S. Unterman: 9.70% (1,946)
Eugene Yu: 5.56% (1,116)
Total votes: 20,072
Carolyn Bourdeaux: 60.95% (7,505)
John Eaves: 5.82% (717)
Nabilah Aishah Islam: 11.41% (1,405)
Zahra S. Karinshak: 6.63% (816)
Brenda Lopez Romero: 10.71% (1,319)
Rashid Malik: 4.47% (551)
Total votes: 12,313
U.S. House, District 9
Note: Though candidate Ethan Underwood, a Forsyth County resident, earned the most votes in Forsyth, he did not receive the same support in other counties in the district.
Michael Boggus: 3.28% (339)
Paul Broun: 7.61% (787)
Andrew Clyde: 10.50% (1,085)
Matt Gurtler: 20.27% (2,095)
Maria Strickland: 3.97% (410)
Kevin Tanner: 19.52% (2,018)
Ethan Underwood: 25.18% (2,603)
Kellie Weeks: 5.52% (571)
John K. Wilkinson: 4.14% (428)
Total votes: 10,336
Devin Pandy: 36.75% (1,004)
Brooke Siskin: 45.10% (1,232)
Dan Wilson: 18.16% (496)
Total votes: 2,732
Public Service Commission, District 4
Note: The winner will face incumbent Republican Laura Bubba McDonald, Jr.
Daniel Blackman: 67.26% (9,144)
John Noel: 32.74% (4,452)
Total votes: 13,596
Georgia House, District 9
Steve Leibel: 29.69% (217)
Doug Sherrill: 13.82% (101)
Clint Smith: 10.67% (78)
Tyler Tolin: 7.52% (55)
Zack Tumlin: 18.88% (138)
Will Wade: 19.43% (142)
Total votes: 731
Georgia House, District 22
Note: The winner will face incumbent District 22 state Rep. Wes Cantrell, a Republican.
Charles Ravenscraft: 52.53% (1,006)
Bobbi L. Simpson: 47.47% (909)
Total votes: 1,915
Forsyth County Coroner
Paul W. Holbrook: 63.70% (18,468)
Ted Paxton: 36.30% (10,526)
Total votes: 28,994
Forsyth County Board of Commissioners, District 4
Kenny Anderson: 18.23% (1,316)
Amy Barfield: 15.15% (1,094)
Brandy Bevis: 5.25% (379)
Cindy Jones Mills (Incumbent): 61.37% (4,430)
Total votes: 7,219
Forsyth County Board of Education, District 3
Tom Cleveland (Incumbent): 80.43% (4,269)
Barry S. Herrin: 19.57% (1,039)
Total votes: 5,308
Forsyth County Board of Education, District 5
Lindsey Adams: 84.33% (4,936)
Bibi Lopez: 15.67% (917)
Total votes: 5,835