State Rep. Dan Gasaway, R-Homer, flips through the budget as the House listens to a presentation in 2013. Gasaway alleges in a lawsuit filed Thursday that voters in the May 22 GOP primary were given ballots for the wrong district. JASON GETZ / JGETZ@AJC.COM
Photo: Jason Getz / AJC
Photo: Jason Getz / AJC

Defeated Georgia legislator alleges voters were given wrong ballots

A member of the Georgia House who was defeated in last month’s primary is seeking a new election because dozens of voters allegedly received the wrong ballot.

State Rep. Dan Gasaway, R-Homer, filed a lawsuit Thursday alleging that at least 67 votes — the margin of his defeat in the Republican primary — were cast on ballots that listed state House districts that didn’t match the districts where they live.

Gasaway lost re-election during the May 22 primary to Chris Erwin, a business director for a construction company and a former Banks County schools superintendent.

No Democratic Party candidate is running in the race, so the winner of the Republican primary will fill the House seat.

Some voters in Gasaway’s House District 28 incorrectly received ballots for House District 10, where state Rep. Terry Rogers ran unopposed in the Republican primary, according to the lawsuit. Other voters in Rogers’ district were able to vote for or against Gasaway.

“Irregularities and misconduct in voting were created in both HD 28 and in HD 10 as voters in both districts could not vote for the correct state House races. In fact, voters in both districts were forced to vote for the wrong candidates because they did not have the correct ballots,” according to the lawsuit.

Gasaway used a map to plot the location of voters who received ballots that didn’t match their street addresses, the lawsuit says. Gasaway compared addresses with a list of voters to identify 350 registered voters in Habersham County who had been assigned to an incorrect House district.

Gasaway didn’t return messages seeking comment Monday.

The Georgia Secretary of State’s Office confirmed Monday it had opened an investigation involving districting issues in Habersham County.

Erwin said he’s unaware of any voters who were given the wrong ballot, except those he heard about through news reports.

“The secretary of state has certified the race and has named me the winner,” Erwin said. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity of serving in Atlanta.”

Gasaway, who runs an architectural design and construction business, was first elected to the Georgia General Assembly in 2012.

He lost the primary by a vote of 3,111 to 3,044, according to the certified count.

Gasaway was one of eight incumbents in the General Assembly who were unseated during the primary election.

Gasaway’s lawsuit is pending in Fulton County Superior Court.

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