Regional News

Judge to hear arguments Tuesday in call for HD 28 special election


A Banks County judge could decide next week whether to order a new election in State House District 28. A hearing is set in Banks County Superior Court Tuesday on a lawsuit filed by Dist. 28 Rep. Dan Gasaway.

Gasaway’s lawyers originally filed the case in Fulton County Superior Court. It was recently moved to Banks County following a change of venue request. That request was made after Habersham County Commissioners withdrew their opposition to the lawsuit and Secretary of State and Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp was removed as a defendant in the case.

Last month the Habersham County Board of Commissioners admitted the county made mistakes in its handling of the May 22nd GOP primary. Voters were assigned to the wrong State House districts and, as a result, were given the wrong ballots. Gasaway lost to challenger Chris Erwin by 67 votes district-wide. More than 70 voters in Habersham received the wrong ballots, enough to potentially change the outcome of the primary.

In admitting the error, Habersham County called for a new election and asked the two other counties in House District 28 – Stephens and Banks – to do the same.

Banks County Commission Chair Jimmy Hooper says his county won’t do that voluntarily. He tells Now Habersham, “We’re going to see how it plays out on Tuesday morning. Banks County is adamant that our election results were correct and accurate with no omissions and we see no reason to have another election or bear the expense.”

The case has received national attention at a time when the overall integrity of ¬†Georgia’s electoral process is in question.

A federal judge is now considering a case challenging the security of the state’s voting machines. Judge Amy Totenberg of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia says she’ll rule by Monday on whether the state will have to switch to paper ballots for the midterms on Nov. 6.

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