Opinion: Recount in Cobb was welcome move to boost trust in election result

THE EDITORIAL BOARD’S OPINION

In this political atmosphere, elections officials must do all they can to instill confidence in our democracy.

And that’s exactly what we saw unfold in Vinings over the last few days.

Vinings, if you remember, put forth a vote on cityhood last month. It was defeated by 312 votes – or about 10 percent.

Under Georgia rules, that margin was too large to trigger a recount.

Yet, this week, Cobb County election workers conducted a hand recount of the 993 paper ballots that had been cast in Vinings’ largest precinct on Election Day to assuage concerns.

Guess what?

That partial recount exactly matched the tally produced by prior ballot scans.

Those results should remind all of us that, yes, our votes do count.

The recount also confirms that despite all the noise, often from those who lost, Georgia’s elections are conducted with integrity.

Cobb County officials are to be applauded for taking such a step.

As Cobb Elections Director Janine Eveler said: “We wanted to be transparent and to help the public to be able to see that there is an accuracy to what we do. It was an opportunity for us to demonstrate the accuracy of the system.”

Let’s not forget that there were some issues on Election Day in DeKalb County, and some flubs in Cobb County, that raised concerns among those in Vinings who had been pushing for the cityhood movement.

As we’ve said before, elections officials must do everything they can to address these issues. After all, they only provide those with an agenda with even more fodder to beat their drums of false accusations.

In Vinings, even those who supported the cityhood movement felt better after the hand recount – conducted as a small crowd of supporters, opponents and journalists looked on.

“I thought it was well done and transparent,” said Jimmy Eastham, a leader of the Vinings cityhood campaign. “I want to express gratitude … for allowing all of us to watch and make sure that the machine count matched the actual recount of the ballots.”

The recount makes any legal challenges by cityhood supporters “less likely,” Eastham said.

Let’s hope so.

The Editorial Board.