Final Vote Count Complete for Austell Election

After four provisional ballots were submitted for review to the County Board of Elections, only one was found

The Cobb County Board of Elections has reviewed the four provisional ballots from Austell’s Tuesday election and found only one to be valid.

That vote was for Randy Green, bringing the official counts to 250 votes for Green, 252 for his challenger Suzanne Thomason for At-Large Post 2 city council seat. The votes remain the same for Ward 4 city council seat with incumbent Virginia Reagan winning 94 votes and challenger Lance Lamberton receiving 90.

Lamberton has submitted a written request for a recount to Austell City Clerk Carolyn Duncan.

However, the request will need to be resubmitted, Duncan explained, because formal recount requests can only be made two days after Monday, according to state regulations.

“I’m really really concerned about the difference of the people who voted on Election Day and the people who voted in early voting and absentee,” Lamberton said.  

Both challengers, Lamberton and Thomason, won the majority of votes cast on Election Day. However, nearly all the 75 votes cast in early and absentee voting were for Green and Reagan.

“You can’t help but think that there may have been manipulation of the voting. It just doesn’t make sense…It makes me concerned about the validity of the voting process…The best way to address this problem is for the City of Austell to go to the 21st century and engage in electronic voting,” Lamberton said.

The votes for the uncontested mayoral and Ward 2 City Council seats were also counted on Friday at approximately 1 p.m., Duncan said.

Of the 505 votes cast, incumbent Mayor Joe Jerkins received 392 votes. Current Ward 2 city councilman Scott Thomas received 20.

Duncan said the count of the mayoral and Ward 2 votes was not announced to the public because “it wasn’t necessary. It was an administrative procedure.

The box of ballots was taken from a locked facility in the police department and the seals were broken to count those votes.

Duncan said Sgt. Corbin of the Austell Police Department, along with two other city employees were present while the votes were counted. Additionally, Denise Soesbee and Elizabeth Bone of the finance department were there intermittently.

“We were never alone with the box. We had an entourage there,” Duncan said.


Lance Lamberton November 14, 2011 at 06:33 PM
this last comment concerning the election was made by myself Cheryllamberton and that I along with the Patch Reporter followed the poll worker to the locked safe and was later informed that they were to take the votes to the Austell police station and that all the votes will be sent to the Cobb County Board of Elections the next Business day for verifation of 4 votes with addresses in question The next day I called the Cobb County Board of Elections so that I and the candates would have an oportunity to watch the 4 votes in question being opened The Ballots were not there
Teresa Jones November 15, 2011 at 03:28 PM
Just what are you implying?
Virginia November 16, 2011 at 12:02 AM
Good question Teresa, I see no one has bothered to reply though. As to my comment: “The best way to address this problem is for the City of Austell to go to the 21st century and engage in electronic voting,” Lamberton said. Problem, what problem you & Mrs. Lamberton were there “up close and comfortable” during the counting of the votes. If there was a problem why didn’t you let it be known at the time? Talking about electronic voting, what happened to using paper ballots so you would have a paper trail? Manipulation of the voting process? At one time I was behind by 7 votes. Before the absentee and early voting ballots were counted I was 4 votes behind. With the 75 absentee and early voting ballots I gained 8 votes to win by 4 votes. You just don’t know how Randy pushed early voting and most folks did show up for us. If they needed an absentee ballot we took them the form needed to apply along with a SASE. What did you do to encourage absentee and early voting? Thank you all so very much for those votes.
Teresa Jones November 16, 2011 at 03:16 AM
We aren't going to get an answer and I hope we don't. To put a seed out there that there was shadiness is inexcusable. You thank your supporters and move on. For the winners don't respond to this unjust, no proof innuendos. Congratulations Virginia Reagan.
Bruce November 17, 2011 at 11:39 PM
Lamberton and the Libertarian party for years have been advocating a paper ballot so there will be a "paper trail" for all elections. I agree and wish all elections had a paper trail. Thankfully, the Austell city election was not by computer but on paper. Now, all Lamberton has to do is prove to the Georgia State Elections Board or in a lawsuit he is entitled to bring in a court of law that something shady and ILLEGAL happened in the room in which the absentee ballots were stored and this caused him to lose the election to the incumbent. Of course, you have to wonder why if the city "fixed" the election for incumbent Virginia Reagan, why didn't city employees "fix" the election for incumbent Randy Green? And, you have to wonder why Suzanne Thomason & Trudie Causie and Martin Standard are so quiet about this, since they supported Lamberton. Is it because Thomason's seat is at stake? 2 absentee ballots arrived after the polls closed. Those 2 ballots could have tied Green and Thomason. Well, Lance, what are you gonna do now? In 2 years will you run for Trudie Causie's seat? Maybe you should move to Standard's ward and run against him in 2 years. Or, you can wait another 4 years and run against Thomason. It's a real puzzle, isn't it.


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