There is a new leader in the sheriff’s race in Putnam County after a USB flash drive containing 428 uncounted mail-in ballots was found after Election Day.
On Friday, the canvassing board for Putnam County announced Gator DeLoach, the Democratic candidate, is leading Republican Jon Kinney by 13 votes.
The ballots on the flash drive were not uploaded to a server that sends the results to the state elections office.
Putnam County Supervisor of Elections Charles Overturf is working to determine the cause of the miscount and correct the problem.
“I’m still trying to decide exactly what the staff did that that situation occurred, and as of this moment, I can’t say except for human error,” Overturf said.
He said the people who were in the room thought the others had uploaded the ballots, and it was not discovered until he came in Thursday morning and asked why the numbers were less than they thought they would be.
“If you look at college football, pro football, NFL, major league baseball – they do instant replay, and they do it for the reason of trying to get the call right, and that’s the way I look at this,” Overturf said.
The canvassing board will meet again Nov.18 at 5 p.m., after the deadline for overseas ballots, to certify the election.
DeLoach said this was something he never expected, and he was prepared to move on. He said he was shocked when he learned about the votes.
“I’m thankful that the canvassing board convened as early as they did and addressed this in the manner that they have,” he said. “I’ve got complete faith in the system and Mr. Overturf, the supervisor of elections. In my mind, it just proves to me that there’s an adequate and effective system of check and balances to ensure that the results are accurate.”
Kinney was unavailable for comment.