State Representative wants new election after voters given wrong ballots

A North Georgia state representative lost his primary election by 67 votes.

He has gone to court to get the results thrown out and a new election held.

Republican State Rep. Dan Gasaway says dozens of voters were given the wrong ballot, and the Habersham county elections department admits serious mistakes were made.

"It's a pretty dejected feeling when you are a three-time incumbent like I was, to lose,” said Gasaway.

But, it got worse the next day when his wife got home from work.

“My wife came home to say my teaching partner came in to school today and said she went to vote for you last night and your name was not on the ballot,” said Gasaway.

Gasaway, who had been state representative in House District 28  for six years, was suspicious. He hired a data analysis team that examined voting records in his district and in the neighboring districts. He found his suspicion was spot on.

“Each one of these dots represented registered voters in the wrong district,” Gasaway showed us on a map full of dots. “I was shocked by how many it was,” said Gasaway.

Gasaway's research found in House District 10 at least 33 voters were given ballots to vote in his race in District 28. And, in District 28 at least 37 voters got ballots for the District 10 race. At least 70 voters in total got incorrect ballots.

Remember, he lost by 67 votes. His attorney is Jake Evans.

“The legal standard is, if more voters than decided an election are illegal or as a result of irregularities then an election has to be redone,” said Evans.

Even more troubling was Gasaway found a number of voters who were given the wrong ballots had voted for him in previous elections

Gasaway filed a lawsuit seeking a new election. The suit was filed against the Secretary of State's office, his opponent, and the Habersham County Elections supervisor. All fought to have the suit dismissed. 

Then an election fight bombshell. Habersham county elections officials admitted in court filings that the Elections Board "placed at least 70 Voters in the incorrect district."  And, officials admitted that was enough to "place in doubt the Election's result." 

“It has been expressly and legally admitted that a fair election was not done. Period,” says Gasaway’s attorney.

At the same time, Habersham County Commission Chairman Victor Anderson had seen enough. He issued a press release conceding "errors were made" and the county would no longer fight the lawsuit, and he called for "a new election."

“I want to see a judge order a new election. Let's have a fair election,” said Gasaway.

The case has been moved to Banks County. Now, a specially appointed judge will decide whether there will be a new Republican primary election between Gasaway and the winner Chris Erwin. There was no Democrat, so if there is a new election, the candidate who can best connect the dots will represent House District 28.

The election challenge will not end with a judge's ruling. The secretary of State, Brain Kemp, who is responsible for the administration of fair elections has called for an investigation. He wants to know what happened in House District 28 and why.