Thursday, July 24 2014 11:14 PM EDT2014-07-25 03:14:49 GMT
Lee County residents voiced their displeasure with a potential property tax hike Thursday evening.More >>
Lee County residents voiced their displeasure with a potential property tax hike Thursday evening. More >>
By Scott Hunter
November 06, 2003
Irwin--You've heard of election results being miscounted by hanging chads, human error, or maybe even a computer glitch. But in Ocilla the results of a city council race changed because of one absentee vote. A vote cast by a woman who died just minutes after the polls opened.
Many thought candidate Tyrone Smith defeated Allen Smith 65 to 64 in a city council election. But the race ended in a tie after the absentee vote of a dead women was re-admitted.
"We wrongly assumed that she died the night before" says Occilla's elections superintendent, Frances Bradford.
86 year old Rebecca Baltes died on election day at 7:24 AM less than a half hour after the polls opened.
"And a person who votes absentee even if they are deceased that the person vote still does count if everything is in order.
" I have never known that an absentee ballot of someone deceased has cause a tie election.
Thats right the woman's vote tied the vote 65 to 65. And for those who knew the voter they say her reaction would have been like many others.
"She would have been tickled to know that her vote cause so much confusion in the town. And for the those involved, it re-enforces the saying every vote counts, says Linda Cook
The city plans to hold a run off election on November 25th. They hope to have new electronic voting equipment installed at the next city election in which absentee votes will be automatically counted.