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Former DeKalb employee blamed for misplacing 59 ballots

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Former DeKalb employee blamed for misplacing 59 ballots

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Photo by Dena Mellick


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This story has been updated. 

By Logan C. Ritchie, contributor 

DeKalb County, GA — DeKalb County Voter Registrations and Elections board met this morning, Nov. 20, to recertify the general election results again.

A statement delivered by Board Chair Sam Tillman said an additional 59 ballots were omitted from the county’s total count due to blatant disregard of the elections process. According to a board member, a manager at early voting site Berean Christian Church in Stone Mountain may be responsible for the negligence.

The total number of ballots omitted by DeKalb County was 95 votes, not enough to change the overall outcome of the Nov. 3 election. President-elect Joe Biden handily won the heavily Democratic-leaning DeKalb County, earning 83 percent of the vote here.

Elections Director Erica Hamilton said yesterday human error was to blame for ballots being omitted from the initial count, which was corrected.

“DeKalb immediately contacted the Georgia Secretary of State, upon discovery of the error. We have also worked to review all internal protocols with staff and personnel to ensure that every legal and verified ballot cast counts in our elections,” Hamilton said.

Then, this morning Tillman delivered a statement:

“It has come to our attention that a DeKalb Voter Registration and Elections manager who is now a former employee failed to follow our established protocols, and blatantly disregarded required processes we utilize to account for and record all legal and verified ballots. According to our internal review, this is the same person made human error in failing to follow protocol that caused our previous recertification.”

The statement did not say if the employee resigned or had been fired.

“Since the employee’s departure, management corrected the action and reviews, ultimately yielded 59 additional ballots that were omitted from our count,” Tillman said. “All of our internal reviews indicate that these two omissions were primarily caused by a singular employee’s negligent failure to follow protocol and are in no way reflective of our collective efforts to maintain the highest standard for elections safety, security and transparency. We immediately notified the Georgia Sec of State upon discovery of this error, and look forward to officially certifying the Nov. 3 general election results. The voters of DeKalb did their part in casting their ballots this election cycle and we refuse to allow the reckless act of one irresponsible former employee to discredit this entire election and the votes of more than 370,000 DeKalb County residents.”

Tillman added that the department and board “continue to closely monitor all activity in this election cycle stressing strict compliance with protocols and protecting the integrity of this process, and implementing all appropriate corrective actions as necessary, including personnel matters.”

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