Atlanta Out Loud

Politics and rantings and just stuff that catches my attention.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Fauver leads race by three votes | We still don't know if there will be a runoff in the District 6 City Council race. Brodie will undoubtedly request a recount before the deadline next Tuesday.

The question will really come down to the 9 write-in votes. If those are counted in the total, then Anne Fauver gets 49.95 percent of the vote and Steve Brodie gets 49.90 percent. That would require a runoff. If those votes are not counted (and the Fulton Elections office says they have been disqualified), then Anne wins with 50% plus 3 votes and a runoff would not be required. No word on why the write-in votes have been disqualified.

This race is special because it is the only race in the U.S. where two gay candidates are running against each other. That's good... because in gay Midtown, there should be a gay representative on the Council. And there will be, no matter what happens.

I've heard rumors, but I can't confirm them as fact, that this may be the first race ever in Georgia where there will/may be a runoff where only two candidates were running against each other. Interesting....

UPDATE: Who knew "write-in" candidates had to be "registered"? Chrisishardcore did. He hints that there may have been a conspiracy. I'm not so sure the voters of Atlanta are that sophisticated, but I suppose it's possible. I'm hoping for a runoff.


Actually, I don't know if municipal write=in candidates have to be registered or not. A write in candidate in a state race must register with the SOS or they will not *count* the votes. As in, I can't show up to the SOS office and say how many votes did I get for governor? How many people wrote in 'Chris Huttman'? You can see why from an adminstrative standpoint, or any old crazy could take up hours upon hours asking how many votes they got in every single race on the ballot.

That said, like much election law, it is a matter of interpretation. Does "not counted" mean that the election officials don't have to produce an itemized list of totals for Mickey Mouse and every possible name written in, or does it mean not counted in the sense that the vote is disqualified?

That opens up another can of worms. Someone who voted for Shirley Franklin and then Mickey Mouse only has their vote thrown out in the Mickey Mouse race, so can they really be considered a disqualified voter? Could be some interesting developments. If I was Steve Brodie I'd probably concede and run again in 4 years. He'd probably be a shoo-in then.

By Anonymous Chris, at 11/11/2005 10:53:00 PM  

The Georgia Supreme Court has already decided this issue and the write in votes will not count in the number of total "votes cast." In the controlling case, the votes of a candidate who had withdrawn, but who's name remained on the ballot, did not count towards the total number of "votes cast." I don't see any difference in this case, although I wish it would, given that the votes were for unqualified write in candidates.

By Blogger decaturguy, at 11/14/2005 10:07:00 AM  

I'm no legal expert on voter law, but I guess my argument for the difference in this case would be that the write-in candidates were never registered. I can understand if a candidate withdrew -- not counting those votes makes sense to me. But, it seems that the whole point of write-in candidates is to grant power to the people... a revolution of the voters if you will. If enough voters legitimately want an unregistered candidate to win, and awarded that candidate with 60% of the vote (yes, and extreme example and highly unlikely), would all of those votes not be counted. That seems a bit unfair to me if no legally wrong.

By Blogger AdamATL, at 11/14/2005 01:15:00 PM  

I understand your point, but I think the legal precedent is that votes for unqualified candidates are void and don't count towards the total "votes cast." Like a withdrawn candidate, unregistered write in candidates, are incapable of taking office and even if they got a majority of the vote, could not be elected. What power are you granting to people who vote for someone who could not, under any circumstance, take office?

I would think the case for counting the votes for unqualified write in candidates would be weaker than that for a withdrawn candidate. At least the withdrawn candidate was once qualified and the voters may not have gotten the message that their candidate withdrew. With unqualified write in candidates, they were never qualified to begin with.

By Blogger decaturguy, at 11/14/2005 04:56:00 PM  

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