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Georgia County Official Declared Winner By Mistake Before All Votes Counted: Report

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


The results of an election in a Georgia county were changed after officials mistakenly declared a winner before counting all votes.

According to Fox News Digital, the uncounted votes were discovered on a memory card, and once tabulated, they changed the outcome of an election in Cobb County.

“Madelyn Orochena announced her win on social media for the Kennesaw City Council Special Post 1 seat after she said the results were in,” the outlet reported.

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She noted her apparent victory on her social media account: “Feeling excited and so grateful! It’s a win! See you Monday.”

But her victory did not last. After officials found the memory card on Wednesday, the new tabulation changed the results and now the projected winner is Lynette Burnette.

“Unfortunately, once found we did upload it, and it changed the outcome of the Kennesaw City Council race,” said Cobb County Elections Director Janine Eveler, according to Fox News Digital.

The outlet added:

The memory card contained 789 uncounted ballots from the county. Burnette defeated Orochena by just 31 votes.

Following the announcement, Orochena released a statement on social media sharing her disappointment and frustration.  

“This is shameful. … And our faith in our governing bodies continues to fail,” she wrote.

According to Cobb County election officials, the memory card was discovered in the Kennesaw area as election workers were preparing for a risk-limiting audit. Afterward, the results found on the card were transmitted to the Georgia secretary of state’s office, according to election officials. Cobb County election officials then announced that results from the election that are currently listed on the secretary of state’s election results page are accurate.

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In a social media post, Orochena said she planned to file a complaint next week with the office of the Secretary of State.

“Just trying to gain more information, what is within my rights, so we can be confident whoever wins, wins fairly,” Orochena said.

The election results will be recertified during a special meeting called for next week.

“We immensely regret this error, and following the upcoming runoff election, we will launch an investigation and review of procedures to ensure this never happens again,” Cobb County election leaders noted in a press release.

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Meanwhile, the closely-watched U.S. Senate race in Georgia between Trump-backed Herschel Walker and Democrat Sen. Raphael Warnock is officially headed to a run-off in December.

“Georgia’s U.S. Senate race is heading to a runoff, with neither major candidate on track to win a majority of votes. Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and GOP nominee Herschel Walker will face off again on Tuesday, Dec. 6, with the Senate majority potentially on the line for a second straight election cycle in the historically conservative bastion. Warnock was slightly ahead, with 49 percent of the vote, but Georgia law requires a runoff if no candidate clears 50 percent,” Politico reported.

Earlier this month, Warnock was hit with accusations that he funneled more than $60,000 in childcare expenses from his campaign, the Daily Wire noted, citing a Federal Election Commission report.

Warnock’s campaign, according to the filings, spent a total of $61,959.40 for items listed as “childcare” — with several payments going directly to specific childcare providers and a number of payments going to an organization called “Bright Start Nanny Service.” Bright Start is listed online as an employment agency that provides full-service child care.

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While the FEC does allow payments for childcare to come from campaign funds, that usually refers to single payments for specific events — and Warnock appears to be using those funds to pay the bulk of his childcare expenses. Only one of the 33 listed payments — disbursed on September 26, 2022 — was described in the subject line as “childcare expenses (campaign-related).” The largest single payment — totaling over $11,000 — was made directly to Warnock himself and was described as “childcare reimbursement.” The others were simply described as “childcare.”

The senator had previously been criticized for that showed that his church owned a building in a low-income area and had attempted to evict tenants during the pandemic.

“NEW: Records obtained by @FreeBeacon reveal Raphael Warnock’s church, which pays him a $7417 monthly housing allowance, secretly owns a low-income apartment building that tried to evict residents during the pandemic,” Andrew Kerr of The Washington Free Beacon said. “One for just $28.55 in late rent.”

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