Candidate may have lost three votes, but there’s little recourse
A mistake by the office of Oconee elections has apparently cost a candidate the potential of three votes from supporters who were issued the wrong absentee ballots. They should have been given ballots that would have allowed them to vote in the race for Seat Two, County Council. Instead they filled out ballots meant for a neighboring district. Joy Scharich, elections director, admits it was a mistake. But, contrary to critical social media comments, she said, it was an isolated mistake that humans are subject to in what is a complex process for modern day elections. There’s little recourse, however, as Scharich explains. In this instance, the votes were cast in-person as part of absentee voting. “Once you make your selections, it prints a printed copy of what you selected,” Scharich said. “But once they (the voters) are OK with it, they physically scan it into the ballot box. Once it goes into that ballot box it is locked and sealed and those ballots are under tight security until Election Day when they are counted,” she said. Absentee voting is a public process and, according to Scharich, is open to observers at any time. There’s nothing to hide, she said. For his part, Durham views the loss of three votes important, especially in a race that he believes will be tight between him and opponent Josh Roberts. Beyond the three votes, Durham says what happened is an example of why voters should know their district when they go to vote.