Cobb Elections to recertify, declare new winner in Kennesaw Council race

Uncounted ballots found on memory card, officials say

The Cobb County Board of Elections must recertify its election results Friday after officials found a memory card of ballots that had not been uploaded into voting machines on Election Day.

The error upends results of the Kennesaw City Council race to fill the open seat vacated by James “Doc” Eaton, who resigned in protest earlier this year over the city awarding a business license to the controversial Wildman’s Civil War Surplus shop downtown. The shop has been criticized for selling racist memorabilia.

The race had seven contenders, with Madelyn Orochena originally declared the winner. The additional ballots, however, allowed Lynette Burnette to become the new council member by 31 votes, according to results on the Secretary of State’s website, which county spokesman Ross Cavitt said has been updated with the missing ballots.

It is unclear Wednesday afternoon how many votes were added to the tally. The count now says Burnette received 1,756 votes to Orochena’s 1,725.

The county election’s office has had multiple mistakes uncovered during the general election, including some ballot errors and over 1,000 absentee ballots not mailed during October.

Results from the May primary also had to be recertified after officials found a memory card that had not been uploaded.