GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - It’s a congressional election that gained national attention and after Thursday night it’s nearing a resolution.
Georgia’s 7th Congressional District race, which pitted Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux and Republican incumbent Rob Woodall, hinged on a court-ordered count by Gwinnett County’s Board of Voter Registration and Elections. But it was a contentious afternoon as citizens who deeply care about the election process squared off at the board’s special meeting which spilled into Thursday night.
Deputies were called in to keep the peace.
The board was considering the results of tabulations after federal court orders forced the county to count absentee ballots with missing or wrong birth information but denied requests to count ballots with address issues or missing signatures.
After many hours of counting the board officially certified the election.
“Voting is sacred and we don’t take this lightly, this is very, very serious stuff. At the end of the day every person up here did what they thought was the right thing to and that’s all you can ask of people,” said Stephen Day, the Chairman of the Gwinnett County Board of Elections.
The chairman became emotional over the exhaustive process.
Day may have been satisfied but members of the nonpartisan group Coalition for Good Governance which was involved in the lawsuits were not.
“No, they didn’t follow the law. They called themselves following what the state law permits them to do and they’ve ignored the federal law, they’ve ignored the spirit of the law,” said Marilyn Marks, executive director of the Coalition for Good Governance.
A Bourdeaux representative was not to be found at the meeting which would eventually lead to the certification of votes, but an attorney for the Woodall campaign did discuss their position following the process.
“They did everything that they possibly could to accommodate everyone and Rob Woodall is clearly still the winner,” said Jason Thompson, attorney for the Woodall campaign.
Later, Jake Best, a representative from the Bourdeaux campaign sent FOX 5 News the following statement which reads:
“We have fought hard to have every eligible vote counted, and our efforts have helped ensure more people’s voices are heard. We will carefully review the results tonight and discuss how to proceed.”