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Official In Georgia County Declared Winner By Mistake Before All Votes Counted

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Another major election snafu appears to have taken place in the new battleground state of Georgia, according to a Friday report.

Fox News Digital reported that the results of an election were changed after officials in Cobb County discovered a memory card full of votes that had not yet been counted.

“Madelyn Orochena announced her win on social media for the Kennesaw City Council Special Post 1 seat after she said the results were in,” the outlet reported.

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She noted her apparent victory on her social media account: “Feeling excited and so grateful! It’s a win! See you Monday.”

However, her victory was shortlived; after officials found the memory card on Wednesday, the new vote total changed the results, with Lynette Burnette now being the projected winner.

“Unfortunately, once found we did upload it, and it changed the outcome of the Kennesaw City Council race,” said Cobb County Elections Director Janine Eveler, according to Fox News Digital.

The outlet added:

The memory card contained 789 uncounted ballots from the county. Burnette defeated Orochena by just 31 votes.

Following the announcement, Orochena released a statement on social media sharing her disappointment and frustration.  

“This is shameful. … And our faith in our governing bodies continues to fail,” she wrote.

Cobb County election officials said that they discovered the memory card in the Kennesaw area when election staffers began to prepare for a risk-limiting audit.

After the results were discovered and tabulated, they were then sent to the Georgia secretary of state’s office, election officials said. They then announced that the results from the municipal election that were then listed on the secretary of state’s election results page were the correct vote totals.

Orochena said she planned to file a complaint next week with the office of the Secretary of State in a social media post.

“Just trying to gain more information, what is within my rights, so we can be confident whoever wins, wins fairly,” Orochena said.

The election results are expected to be recertified next week during a special meeting.

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“We immensely regret this error, and following the upcoming runoff election, we will launch an investigation and review of procedures to ensure this never happens again,” Cobb County election leaders said in a press release.

There has been additional election drama during the current cycle.

Last week, a seat in the New Hampshire House of Representatives flipped from Republican to Democrat after a recount.

After the recount, Democrat Maxine Mosley defeated her Republican opponent Larry Gagne by one vote in the race for the Hillsborough County House District 16 seat in Manchester. Mosley won the seat with 1,799 votes to Gagne’s 1,798. Before the recount, Gagne led Mosley by 23 votes.

“Shocker in Manchester’s Ward 6 New Hampshire House of Representative race – after she congratulated Gagne, there was still counting left and it turns out Maxine Mosley won by a single vote. A flip for the Democrats,” wrote Adam Sexton, the political director for Manchester news outlet WMUR, as he provided updates on the race.

Nathaniel Rakich, a senior election analyst at election tracker Five Thirty-Eight, also tweeted about the shocking turn of events in the race.

“Wow! Democrats erased a 23-vote deficit in a recount to win this NH House seat by ONE vote,” he tweeted. “They need to do the same in 3 more seats to win a majority. I am honestly not sure what happens if the NH House ties 200-200. It has never happened before, in my knowledge.”

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Gagne said he was surprised with the result.

“It’s very unusual, especially in Manchester with the machines we have, to make up 24 votes, we were winning by 23. I don’t know what happened,” he said.

Mosley spoke about the shocking turn of events, telling Newsweek that she had originally thought she was going to lose the race.

“I was truly overwhelmed by the result of the recount. A swing of more than nine votes is rare in New Hampshire so this result is historic! I am also very grateful for the voters who have shown their faith me, as a first-time candidate, to represent them,” she said.

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