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Oberholtzer holds onto victory after Snellville recount

SNELLVILLE - The outcome of Snellville's mayoral race remained the same Thursday after a recount at the request of Bruce Garraway, the councilman who lost the race by 19 votes.

After nearly three hours of scanning ballots into voting machines, watched closely by attorneys the unofficial 1,101 to 1,082 tally remained the same, giving incumbent Jerry Oberholtzer a presumed second term.

While Garraway remained mum about the procedure, his attorney Sarah Leopold

took notes throughout.

"We're going to go back and review the results here and consider our options moving forward," she said.

Garraway asked for a hand recount of the election, but officials instead used optical scan machines. After the city elections board made a duplicate of one ballot with a stray mark, the recount did change the tally for the city council race, giving incumbent Kelly Kautz one additional vote - a margin of 991 to 848 over Marilyn Swinney.

"The machine was dead on," said Jim Magill, a citizen who came to City Hall to witness the recount. "This is democracy in action."

Mac McCluskey said he remembers his time as a poll worker when a recount was "an ordeal."

"These guys, they are both good men," he said of Garraway and Oberholtzer.

"Snellville's a winner either way."

Snellville's last recount was held in 1999, when in the mayoral race Brett Harrell bested Emmett Clower, who had served 34 years.

Garraway has complained about the accuracy of the vote-counting machine. He also said supporters told him of ethical problems at the polls on Election Day. He said the dispute may end up in court, but he did not comment further

Thursday.