Jul 30, 2014

UPDATED: Database Error Causes Voting Snafu for Reynoldstown Voters

Fulton County elections officials say only 300 affected; studying what went wrong.

UPDATED: Database Error Causes Voting Snafu for Reynoldstown Voters

The remapping of districts caused a voting snafu Tuesday for some residents in the Reynoldstown neighborhood who either didn't vote or couldn't because they did not have the right ballots.

Fulton County elections officials said the issue has since been resolved and it affected 300 voters on 10 streets in House District 58 and House District 59.

represents District 58; Margaret Kaiser represents District 59.

Reynoldstown became split when the districts were realigned, but some voters who tried to cast their ballots at two precincts Tuesday morning — 05A1 and 05A2 in Southeast Atlanta — couldn't because they couldn't get the proper ballot.

"This issue affected only the State House races for a small portion of House Districts 58 and 59. No other races were affected by this issue," the Department of Registration & Elections said in a statement it issued just before 5 p.m.

"After reviewing the situation, those voters impacted who have not yet voted are now able to cast their ballot on the touch screen voting machine. A senior elections official has been onsite to address voter concerns."

The issue is sure to affect District 58, which is in a hotly contested race between Bell, the incumbent and Ralph Long, who represented District 61. Long's district was dissolved in the remapping of the city, pitting him against Bell.

For those who already voted but on the wrong district ballot, it's unclear what will happen particularly if the votes between Long and Bell are close.

Elections officials said the department would tackle what to do with those 300 votes on Wednesday.

"On Wednesday morning, the Department of Registration and Elections will begin investigating what remedial actions may need to be taken for voters impacted by this situation who already cast their ballots."

Kaiser said she notified elections officials six weeks ago that there were potential problems regarding the ballots when some of her constituents called her concerned they hadn't received the proper voting cards or didn't receive cards at all.

"This is not just primary voting," Kaiser told East Atlanta Patch. "You're talking about absentee ballot and early voting as well."

Even more worrisome, she said that at least at one of the polling centers, voters were told they should have known who needed to be on their ballot.

"That's not how the process works," she said, adding she spent several hours with Fulton elections officials trying to resolve the issue for residents who reached out to her.

"You're supposed to get a ballot that's correct."

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