Daniel Blackman, the Democrat who lost the Jan. 5 runoff for a seat on the Georgia Public Service Commission, is collecting reports from voters who say the PSC race was missing from their ballots.
Blackman trailed Republican incumbent Lauren “Bubba” McDonald by over 33,000 votes, or 0.74 percentage points, outside the margin where he’d be entitled to a recount. Georgia law gives candidates the right to a recount if they lost by less than half a percentage point.
Blackman said his campaign has heard from more than 255 people in 38 counties who said they didn’t see the PSC race or his name listed on their ballots. One voter from Stephens County submitted an absentee ballot that included the U.S. Senate runoffs but not the PSC race.
The secretary of state’s office said Wednesday that it hasn’t found evidence that the PSC race was left off ballots. About 99% of voters in the U.S. Senate runoffs also voted in the PSC race, according to unofficial results.
“We’re pretty disappointed. We’re doing an investigation. We don’t want to jump to any conclusions,” Blackman said. “Every vote must be counted, and I’m committed to everybody’s ability to participate in the election.”
The PSC race was on the same ballot as two highly publicized U.S. Senate contests, won by Democratic challengers Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock. The pair ousted U.S. Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue.
There’s no obvious indication in election totals that a significant number of votes went missing in the PSC race. Blackman received over 2.2 million votes, more than Loeffler but less than McDonald, Perdue, Ossoff and Warnock.
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Credit: University System of Georgia