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Case of alleged 2012 voting process violations dismissed
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The investigation into complaints filed by a resident in 2012 over alleged voting process violations has been dismissed.

An email sent to the Dawson County Board of Elections and Registration by the Secretary of State's office shows the case closed.

"I received the email in March, but I wanted to present it to my board before we put it out," said Glenda Ferguson, board chair and election supervisor.

The complaint stemmed from a complaint filed by Dawsonville resident Sam Wadsworth, who was one of seven poll watchers approved by the executive committee of the Dawson County Republican Party to observe the July 31, 2012, General Primary.

Republican candidates Mike Connor, who was running for county commission chairman against incumbent Mike Berg, and District 9 state House hopeful Clint Smith, who ran against Kevin Tanner, each presented a list of nominees to serve as poll watchers.

Both Connor and Smith were unsuccessful in their respective campaigns.

The first complaint addressed legal notification regarding the use of direct recording electronic units (DREs), while the second focused on whether those units were secured and sealed properly during advanced voting.

Ferguson answered to the allegations during an interview with an investigator with the Secretary of State's office on March 11, 2014.

Then nearly a year later, in February, she received notification that the case was to go before the state election board on March 12, although the preliminary findings "did not produce any evidence that would suggest" that Dawson County violated election code or rules.

"Evidence did suggest that Dawson County Elections Office did properly secure and seal DREs during the Early Voting of July 31, 2012 and they did give proper notice via the legal organ prior to DRE testing," according to the report.

According to Ferguson, Wadsworth served as a poll watcher at the west precinct and was there "at opening and left around 3 or 3:30 p.m. Election Day," and not on the early voting day, which raised concern among board members.

"How did he have a complaint about early voting if he wasn't here? That's my question," former board member Charlie Vincent said during the board's March 2014 meeting. "[For] early voting we didn't have poll watchers, so how can he make a complaint on early voting if he wasn't there?"

Attempts to reach Wadsworth for comment were unsuccessful.

 

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