HIAWASSEE, Ga – On Monday, August 17, State Senate District 50 candidate Stacy Hall announced his intentions to ask for a recount in the runoff election held last week.
The runoff election results put lawyer and District 50 candidate Bo Hatchett ahead by 34 votes. Since then, the Hall campaign has been canvassing local election offices for any uncounted ballots. On Wednesday, August 12, Hall told supporters that “absentee, provisional, and overseas ballots still to be counted.”
Fast forward to August 17, when Hall takes the official step to request a recount. In the state of Georgia, if less than one-half percent separates two candidates, a candidate has the right to ask for a recount of votes cast. The request must be made in writing to the Secretary of State’s Office within two business days following election certification.
In a letter to the public, Hall said:
“First, I want to thank the 12,448 Northeast Georgians who cast their vote for me in the State Senate District 50 runoff. I remain grateful and humbled. With nearly 25,000 total votes cast and only 0.16% difference between the two candidates, it’s reasonable and prudent to request a recount so that all parties involved can be confident in the final count.”
Per O.C.G.A. § 21-2-495 if the difference between two candidates in a runoff is not more than one-half of 1 percent of the total votes cast, a candidate shall have the right to a recount of the votes cast. Such a request must be made in writing to the Secretary of State’s Office within two business days following the State’s Certification of the election.
Now that the counties have certified their results, my intent is to request a recount as soon as the state certifies the election.”
This has been a very long election for everyone and I have no desire to drag it out, but with only 40 votes separating us out of nearly 25,000, I think a recount is wise so we can move forward confidently. I appreciate the patience of everyone in the district as we work to ensure confidence in the final results.”
It’s very rare for a recount to reverse an election decision, but it has happened in Georgia. Since the Stacy Hall vs. Bo Hatchett was a multi-county race, first each county must certify the results, and then the Secretary of State’s Office.
All eight counties will be asked to recount ballots from the August 11 runoff election at the expense of taxpayers.
Hall believes a District 50 recount is “wise and prudent” to instill confidence in the election process. As stated in the letter, he doesn’t want to drag out the election, rather he wants the district to be patient for a little longer.