After all the huffing and puffing since last fall, came to a quiet end this morning when the Board of Elections & Registration unanimously voted to certify the results of Tuesday’s voting.
No one spoke during the public-comment period at the start of the 8 a.m. meeting at the West Park Government Center. No one from the anti-SPLOST side was there to protest. No one among the SPLOST supporters turned out to cheer.
Unless someone chooses to contest the results in court within five days, Cobb County’s 1 percent Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for capital expenses for transportation, public safety, and parks and recreation will continue through Dec. 31, 2015, instead of expiring at the end of this year.
Anyone who was eligible to vote in last Tuesday’s special election has the right to contest the election on one of three statutory grounds:
- “Misconduct, fraud, or irregularity by any primary or election official or officials sufficient to change or place in doubt the result.”
- “When illegal votes have been received or legal votes rejected at the polls sufficient to change or place in doubt the result.”
- “For any error in counting the votes or declaring the result of the primary or election, if such error would change the result.”
But Elections Director Janine Eveler told the board before its vote Monday that the election went smoothly with no irregularities or problems.
“We got to go to bed on the same night, so that was nice,” Eveler said.
The board had a few technical questions, such as whether the number of precincts able to transmit (107) was typical, and Eveler confirmed that nothing was out of the ordinary.
The board voted to certify the results and adjourned by 8:08.
According to the final, official results, 43,109 of 390,930 eligible registered voters, or 11 percent, cast ballots in the one-issue election.
After 44 of 58 provisional ballots were counted late last week, the SPLOST winning margin grew from an unofficial 79 to an official 90 votes, 21,552 to 21,462, or 50.1 percent to 49.9 percent.
Eveler’s report also revealed that Election Night was even more exciting than was apparent through three hours of back-and-forth vote totals.
The “no” side took the lead with 147 of 153 precincts and all early and absentee votes counted, then the “yes” side won on the strength of those final six precincts.
The final precinct uploaded into the main elections board computer and added to the results that night was Powder Springs 1A at 10:27 p.m., Eveler reported. The SPLOST carried that precinct by 97 votes, 230 to 133, to achieve its 79-vote Election Night margin.
That means with 152 of 153 precincts in, the SPLOST was losing by 18 votes. But all that matters is the final result.