DeKalb elections board certifies runoff results

People walk through the ramp at the Voter Registration & Elections in Dekalb during the first day of early voting on Monday, June 13, 2022. Votes are underway in metro Atlanta for runoff races. Miguel Martinez / miguel.martinezjimenez@ajc.com

Combined ShapeCaption
People walk through the ramp at the Voter Registration & Elections in Dekalb during the first day of early voting on Monday, June 13, 2022. Votes are underway in metro Atlanta for runoff races. Miguel Martinez / miguel.martinezjimenez@ajc.com

DeKalb County’s elections board voted unanimously Monday to certify the results of last week’s runoffs.

The seemingly uneventful election was much needed after May’s primaries, which saw a series of election equipment programming changes fuel confusion and controversy in a county commission race.

“We had very few issues, which were mitigated as they arose,” DeKalb elections director Keisha Smith said during Monday’s board meeting.

Jacqueline Adams, the losing candidate in a primary runoff for Georgia House District 86, did request a recount in her race but it was denied by the board. Smith said Adams provided no information to support her request and that, during its regular post-election due diligence, staff determined there was “no evidence of error or discrepancy that would merit such a count.”

Key local results from last week’s runoffs included Democrat Michelle Long Spears’ victory in DeKalb Commission District 2. Spears bested opponent Lauren Alexander by a healthy margin in the runoff — which initial, erroneous primary results suggested she would miss altogether.

A series of programming errors introduced by the Georgia secretary of state’s office created an issue that didn’t count Spears’ votes properly in May’s three-way primary. A hand count of paper ballots later showed Spears and Alexander finishing one-two, with Marshall Orson in third place and out of the runoff.

Orson, a longtime DeKalb school board member trying to join the commission, later asked the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to look into things. It declined.

In the race to replace Orson on the school board, newcomer Whitney McGinniss bested opponent Candice D. McKinley. District 6 representative Diijon DaCosta topped challenger Janet Hughes to retain his seat on the board.