HomeUSA newsGeorgia county officials mistakenly declared council race winner before all votes were...

Georgia county officials mistakenly declared council race winner before all votes were counted

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Uncounted votes on a memory card have upended an election in Cobb County, Georgia, officials say.

Madelyn Orochena announced her victory on social media for the Kennesaw City Council Special Position 1 seat after she said the results were in.

After a memory card was discovered Wednesday, Madelyn Orochena is no longer the winner of the special election in Cobb County, Georgia.
(Fox 5)

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“I feel excited and very grateful! It’s a victory! See you on Monday,” Orochena wrote in the social media post.

Orochena’s victory was short-lived, however, after a memory card was discovered on Wednesday. The results changed with the projected winner to be Lynette Burnette.

“Unfortunately, once we found it, we turned it up and it changed the outcome of the Kennesaw City Council race,” Cobb County Elections Director Janine Eveler said.

Lynette Burnette is now the winner of the special election for the Kennesaw City Council in Georgia.

Lynette Burnette is now the winner of the special election for the Kennesaw City Council in Georgia.
(Lynette Burnette)

The memory card contained 789 uncounted ballots from the county. Burnette defeated Orochena by just 31 votes.

Following the announcement, Orochena issued a statement on social media sharing his disappointment and frustration.

“This is shameful… And our faith in our governing bodies continues to fail.” Orochena wrote.

Cobb election officials said the memory card was found in the Kennesaw area as poll workers prepared for a risk limitation audit. Results attributed to the card have since been sent to the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, election leaders said.

Cobb County elections officials said the results listed on the Secretary of State’s election page now reflect the accurate results.

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Janine Eveler, Cobb County elections director, announced an investigation into the lost ballots during a news conference Thursday.

Janine Eveler, Cobb County elections director, announced an investigation into the lost ballots during a news conference Thursday.
(Fox 5)

Orochena said in a social media post that he would file a complaint with the Secretary of State’s Office.

“I’m just trying to get more information, which is within my rights, so that we can be sure that whoever wins wins fairly,” Orochena said.

The election results will be re-certified at a special meeting called on Friday.

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“We are immensely sorry for this mistake, and following the upcoming runoff, we will launch an investigation and review of procedures to ensure this never happens again,” the election leaders said in a press release.

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