State Rep. Dan Gasaway, R-Homer, on the House floor in 2013. Gasaway lost a primary race in May by just 67 votes, and now Habersham County says more than 67 voters were given the wrong ballot. JASON GETZ / JGETZ@AJC.COM
Photo: Jason Getz / AJC
Photo: Jason Getz / AJC

Habersham officials seek new election after voters got wrong ballots

Habersham County officials will stop fighting a lawsuit filed against the County Commission after voters received the wrong ballots in the May 22 primary election.

That could mean a new election for the House District 28 seat in the General Assembly.

State Rep. Dan Gasaway, who lost the primary by just 67 votes to Chris Erwin, filed the suit in Fulton County Superior Court in June asking a judge to order a new election.

In a press release, Habersham County Commission Chairman Victor E. Anderson said the county is calling for a new election after finding that more than 67 people were given wrong ballots.

Mapping mistakes along district lines caused voters to be assigned to the wrong House districts in May.

Some voters who are represented by Gasaway’s House District 28 in North Georgia were assigned to House District 10, which is represented by state Rep. Terry Rogers. Some voters in Rogers’ district voted in the race between Gasaway and Erwin.

“We concede that errors were made,” Anderson said Wednesday in a statement. “Initially, it appeared that the number of votes impacted was less than the margin in this extremely close election.”

Anderson said he is asking Banks and Stephens counties — the other two counties in the House district — to hold a new election.

Banks County elections officials on Wednesday said they had not yet received the request. Elections officials in Stephens County could not immediately be reached for comment.

The judge would still likely have to order a new election.

It is not unheard of to redo an election. A 2015 election for the mayor of Hazlehurst was thrown out due to allegations of vote buying, and a state House race in Walker County had to go through three elections because redistricting changes caused some voters to be turned away.

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