Elections board holds hearing prior to certification

LAWRENCEVILLE - Gwinnett County attorneys and an elections board staff minus two met Friday morning to wrap up and certify the county's results stemming from Tuesday's election.

With a brief meeting in the morning and then another scheduled for late in the afternoon, the goal Friday was to offer voters whose ballots were questioned on Election Day the opportunity to prove they had the right to indeed exercise their right to vote.

Once results are certified by the county, they are then sent on to the Secretary of State's office for official state certification.

According to Gwinnett County Elections Director Lynn Ledford, there was nothing that could occur Friday that would prevent Tuesday's results from being certified at the county level.

At the morning session, a total of 110 ballots were unanimously dismissed by the board mainly because of citizenship-related issues, said Ledford. These people had cast provisional ballots on Election Day without the proper identification and their ballots were then held until they presented the proper identification displaying their right to vote.

Ledford said several hundred people who cast provisional ballots Tuesday had come in since voting to present their identification, and the 108 that were dismissed were voters who did not properly identify themselves by Friday's morning deadline.

"The action taken today was not removing their voter registration," Ledford said. "It was just a challenge of their ballot counting in the results."

One voter of the 110 was dismissed because he apparently voted twice at two separate locations.

The official certification postponement and the afternoon session were necessary in order to allow 20 voters whose ballots were in question the right to present their identification. Ledford said with these 20 voters the issue was whether or not they received the proper instructions about what to do next once they had cast their provisional ballot on Tuesday. She said officials were unsure if these 20 people had received the proper paperwork or not, but that they'd all been contacted by phone and given the opportunity to come in and make their voice heard.

A call to Ledford at 6 p.m. Friday to see what happened with the last 20 votes being challenged went unanswered.