DeKalb elections board postpones primary certification

The DeKalb County Board of Registration and Elections voted Tuesday to postpone certification of the May 24 primary after a glitch forced workers to hand count ballots for one race.

Keisha Smith, DeKalb's elections director, decided Saturday to count the ballots by hand after a candidate running for District 2 Commissioner discovered the poll tapes posted at several precincts the day after the election showed she had received no votes.

"All I have to say is my husband and I voted at the precinct for myself and when I showed up and it showed zero votes from myself, that was rather alarming," Michelle Long Spears told FOX 5 on Monday.

Election workers started the hand count Sunday and continued Monday, finally wrapping up around midnight. Their work, however, was not complete. Employees then had to manually enter the vote totals for each batch of ballots by precinct.

The elections board was originally scheduled to certify the primary results at a noon meeting Tuesday, but workers were not finished inputting data. When the board met in a special called meeting at 4:30, the process was still underway.

"I do want to report that we are not done identifying and accurate tabulation," Smith told board members. "We've worked diligently. We have worked throughout the night, long hours and I cannot provide today an accurate calculation or tabulation of votes."

The state-imposed deadline to certify the election was Tuesday at 5p.m.

Smith asked board members to give them until Friday to report final results. The board agreed to meet Friday at 5 p.m. to certify the primary election.