A Georgia judge on Tuesday ordered a Georgia legislative district to redo its Republican primary election, citing ballot errors that could have impacted the vote tallies, CNN reported.
State Rep. Dan Gasaway (R) filed a lawsuit following his slim loss to challenger Chris Erwin (R) in the District 28 primary in May. Gasaway said he found evidence that officials bungled the election.
“We’ve signed under oath that we knew more than 80 citizens that voted Republican in the election got the wrong ballot,” he told WNEG-FM.
Gasaway lost by 67 votes. Officials reportedly confirmed that 70 voters in District 28 were mistakenly given ballots from another district and were unable to cast a vote for either Gasaway or Erwin.
Banks County Judge David Sweat determined that a new election was required due to the misallocated ballots.
“The court’s real concern is that people have confidence in our elections,” he said.
In reaction to the ruling, Gasaway told Newsweek he was relieved.
“I didn’t do this just for me. This job is not a high-paying job,” he said. “But if votes aren’t counted right, that should concern everybody in our country, everybody in our state, and everybody in our counties.
“Votes should be counted right,” he continued. “There’s no reason for things like this to happen with the technologies we have.”
Erwin also weighed in on the decision.
“We felt we proved our case. We won the election originally,” he said. “There were less than 67 votes. We presented those numbers to the judge. And obviously we’re going to go home tonight, we’re going to sleep on it, come back tomorrow. We’ll talk and look and see if we need to appeal.”
In a separate case, U.S. District Court Judge Amy Totenberg ruled Monday that despite security concerns, the state of Georgia would be allowed to continue using touchscreen voting machines without a paper trail.
Georgia voters and security advocates had filed the suit last year, arguing that the electronic system could be compromised by Russian hackers.
Totenberg slammed the state’s election officials, saying they had “buried their heads in the sand” with regard to ensuring election integrity.
“The Court is very concerned about the State’s pace in responding to the serious vulnerabilities of its voting system,” Totenberg ruled.
Still, the judge decided switching to paper ballots in time for early voting on Oct. 15 would “swamp the polls with work and voters.”
“There is nothing like bureaucratic confusion and long lines to sour a citizen,” she said.