A forgotten memory card in Cobb County, Georgia, containing votes that went uncounted changed the final results of a special election, officials have revealed.
The county’s Board of Elections and Registration recertified the results of the Nov. 8 Kennesaw City Council special election at a Nov. 18 meeting, according to a statement released after the event.
“The recertification was necessary after workers discovered a memory card had not been included in the previous results. The additional ballots resulted in a change in the Kennesaw City Council Post 1 Special Election,” the release said.
After the votes were counted, Madelyn Orochena was declared winner of the special election. But when additional ballots were found on a memory card, Lynette Burnette was announced as the victor by 31 votes, officials told local media.
“Unfortunately, once found we did upload it, and it changed the outcome of the Kennesaw City Council race,” Janine Eveler, Cobb County’s director of elections, told local media outlets.
According to 11Alive, Cobb election officials stated that the memory card was discovered in Kennesaw when workers were getting ready for an audit of the election. However, no more details were given about why the card had been previously overlooked or where it was found.
A recount of the votes was conducted on Nov. 20.
Orochena took to Facebook to announce that she would be filing a complaint with the Georgia Secretary of State’s office.
“I planned to celebrate with family and friends and supporters afterwards. We had no reason to expect otherwise,” Orochena told WSB-TV, adding that she’s “just doing all that I can do that’s within my rights to regain some confidence that this was a fair election.”
Meanwhile, Burnette released a statement to Fox5 that said she’s “humbled to have the opportunity to serve the people of Kennesaw, it may have been an unconventional election … I look forward to keeping Kennesaw the best community.”
After the Dec. 6 runoff election between Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) and Republican candidate Herschel Walker, Cobb County officials will investigate an aspect of the election process that was overlooked, officials told local media.