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Recount confirms Levett victory in sheriff's race

CONYERS -- The vote totals changed, but the outcome remained the same in a recount of votes in the election for Rockdale County sheriff.

Democrat Eric Levett remained in the lead to win the election with 18,759 votes to incumbent Republican Sheriff Jeff Wigington's 18,727. Fifty percent of the vote went to Levett; 49.91 percent to Wigington; and .09 percent to write-in votes.

When results were announced at the Rockdale County Board of Elections and Voter Registration, Levett supporters responded with exclamations of "Amen!"

Tuesday's recount, which started around 9:40 a.m. and concluded at about 2:20 p.m., resulted in a two-vote difference from election results that were tallied Friday night when the military, overseas civilians and provisional ballots were counted. That count resulted in a 34-vote edge for Levett.

On Tuesday, Wigington gained one vote and Levett lost one vote, resulting in a 32-vote margin for Levett. The lost vote was deemed an "under vote," in which it was determined that the voter selected neither candidate.

The Board of Elections met immediately after the recount results were announced and certified the election results.

According to Tuesday's totals, in Nov. 6 polling, 11,066 votes were cast -- 5,549 for Wigington and 5,500 for Levett. In absentee by mail voting, 1,543 votes were cast -- 946 for Wigington and 596 for Levett. In absentee in-person voting, 24,844 votes were cast -- 12,209 for Wigington and 12,619 for Levett. In provisional balloting, 67 ballots were accepted, resulting in 23 votes for Wigington and 44 votes for Levett. A total of 34 write-in votes was cast in the sheriff's race.

Levett could not be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon.

Wigington's attorney, Paul Vranicar, who attended the recount Tuesday, said the narrow margin separating the two candidates was the reason Wigington requested a recount.

"This was one of the closer election results in recent election history in the state, which is why Sheriff Wigington felt it necessary to exercise his right to a recount," Vranicar said.

He added that Wigington has five days to decide if he will challenge the election. Vranicar said they will follow up on information and sift through documents before making that decision.

If Wigington does challenge the election, the case would be heard in Superior Court.

Comments

chantilly 1 year, 5 months ago

I would like to know how the provisional votes are guaranteed to be accurate. The day we voted early, I remarked to my husband that there were a lot of out of cou nty tags in the parking lot.

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Clark 1 year, 5 months ago

Please challenge this Sheriff! Rockdale needs you to remain as Sheriff!

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Jon 1 year, 5 months ago

Sure! Go ahead and challenge it so the courts can affirm it. What a waste of time, resources, tax money, and court time on taking this to court. The right thing to do is to let Levett move forward with being sheriff. That is what the votes revealed. Wigington exercised his right for a recount, and the recount affirmed that Levett won. My advice to Wigington is to bow out gracefully and with dignity. Wigington has been in politics for a long time, and he knows that this is the way it goes. In the end, Wigington will end up losing for a third time. I will support Levett in his new role, as he is the rightful winner in the election. Let's hurry and get this over with so Levett can focus on taking office.

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Carole 1 year, 5 months ago

Maybe it will require a 3 strikes you're out, before Jeff can accept the fact that Levett was voted in as sheriff...hopefully not.

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Jon 1 year, 5 months ago

Wigington sure doesn't want to let this go. Let's see how this plays out. Wiginton lost in the election, but demanded a recount. There was a recount, and Wigington still lost. The next step is the courts. Hmmmm.... is this losing gracefully? I think not. No matter how small the loss, Wigington should let the recount stand. I for one do believe that the recount was certainly needed; however, taking the matter to court is going overboard and is a sign of him failing to concede that he did lose the election even though it was by a very small number of votes. Losing is losing. Sheriff Wigington has served this county well, but it is time for him to move on and let Levett take the reigns of the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office.

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Carole 1 year, 5 months ago

Shouldn't the Superior Court be left to handle CRIMES committed that need to be dealt with, rather than have an additional task of deciding the voting that took place, that's already been checked twice...? I thought that was why the Election Investigator was brought in to decide these matters...I'll be glad when this is resolved so our new sheriff can begin his job.

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the_shadow 1 year, 5 months ago

"King" Wiggy just cant stand it! Your door greeter job at Walmart awaits you Wiggy!

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DestinyInRockdale 1 year, 5 months ago

well said Jon, well said! was ready to rant but you covered that so good!

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INJUSTICE_FOR_ALL 1 year, 5 months ago

This time next year crime rate will double.TAKE ONE STEP FOWARD,TWO STEPS BACK SEe yall i did finish 3rd grad

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Zo 1 year, 5 months ago

Please post lol, wow that "crossover vote came back" to bite. I think one of the more of the same partners didn't get the memo...please post

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judgedredd 1 year, 5 months ago

Take it to court? Really? If he does that he will have lost all respect that he has got all of years in office. I think you all (Jeff supporters) should and look realize the support from within the Sheriff's Office that the Sheriff Elect has. They are the ones that have to work there everyday and if you cast a vote wothout knowing the pulse of the SO then you are not listening. They will not outright tell you 'I want Levett to win' or vice versa, but you can clearly understand them that change is sorely needed. I for one am proud to have Eric Levett as my Sheriff. He is a hard charger and knows how to handle the pressures he will have on him. He may not have all the 'experience' and 'education' that Jeff has but that doesn't always make you better for the job. I truly think Mr. Wiggington has played Sheriff too long. Just like a Congressman or woman, you keep them up on the hill too long they stop serving the greater good. May God bless you Sheriff elect Levett and just remember serve God, your troops and these citizens right and you will have that office for a long time!

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JD 1 year, 5 months ago

I sure hope you are wrong. If crime does indeed start to rise, and we start to see the "Dekabalization" of this county, this is the beginning of the end of Rockdale County; and I am out of here. I really think this is what we might be in for with all the "New Birth", sorority, fraternity connections, along with the rest of the "brothers', sister's, cousin's momma's" political connections that are clearly apparent from this last election. Let's hope that this new sheriff in trying to prove himself, is even harder on crime than Wigington was.

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Motohead 1 year, 5 months ago

"Start to see" Dekalb-ization? Which Rockdale County have YOU been living in? It already started over 10 years ago.

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82011 1 year, 5 months ago

With 32 vote difference out of 37,000 voters there's pretty much an even amount of support for BOTH candidates so be careful in your victory rhetoric. I think some investigation by Wigington's staff into those provisional ballots should occur with strict adherence of the law. His opponent and supporters should welcome this. After all, we do want the legal winner to take office don't we? It's too bad however this election split our county so bad.

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muffin 1 year, 5 months ago

Rockdale is now officially East Clayton County. Get ready for "change"

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MLS 1 year, 5 months ago

If you are going to derogatory get your geography right, we can be East DeKalb or East Henry but Clayton County doesn't actually touch Rockdale so it would be difficult to be East Clayton.

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trOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL 1 year, 5 months ago

Thanks Oprah, you told the BLACK AMAERICANS to flock to this area and dam if they did! Only took them... 10 years to take it over, they sure were dragging their chains getting this county sewed up. If only they knew the Domocratic party is controled by WHITE PEOPLE AHAHHAAHAMAUAHAHAHHA

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Christopher 1 year, 5 months ago

Maybe Erick can make Jeff his Chief Deputy....

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conyerac 1 year, 5 months ago

Don't care who it is or what color they are....as long as the job gets done.........all these folks need to stop the racism..no wonder the county is in the shape it is in...we suppose to band together, it is our home....red, black, green or white, we are all precious in his site...

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vickysmithrs 1 year, 5 months ago

I totally agree no matter who is in office it still takes the effort of everyone to get the job done properly for the better of everyone.

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Shoes8 1 year, 5 months ago

Read the article carefully. The attorney doesn't say that Sheriff Wigington will challenge it, just what the legal rules are for a challenge. Nowhere is the sheriff quoted as saying he will challenge anything. If he does, I am sure it will be with reason. I expect that Mr. Levett would be doing the same if he had lost by so close a margin.
Thank you, 82011, for making this point. So true! I didn't vote for Mr. Levett, but I am glad he is from Conyers. He knows what the county used to be like, and I am sure he will do his best to make it a better place. He has my support.

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Jon 1 year, 5 months ago

Good point Shoes8 on the potential for a court challenge. He does not say that at all, but it is an option. I do not think that we can go back to the way it was 10 years ago, but one thing is for sure someone needs to do something about the crime. Levett is from here and I share your sentiments that Levett will do his best. I pray for his success, as we will all share in his success or failures as sheriff. He has my full 100% support now. If he can get crime down and send a message that he will be tough on crime, I think he will be able to unite the county despite the racially charged tensions that have embraced it.

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Frustrated 1 year, 5 months ago

Be careful what you wish for..the grass isnt always geener on the other side

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DawgsFan 1 year, 5 months ago

I love likeridge's comments. Its a nice comic relief to reading about the racism battle play out over politics and all of a sudden "keep marta out" is thrown in the mix. I love it.

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travelingman 1 year, 5 months ago

We need a new sheriff and Wigington needs to get out of the way. He lost fair and square. This has been confirmed more than once yet he still insists on wasting the taxpayer's money and time while acting like a sore loser. Na na na na, Na na na na, heeeeeeey good bye!

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pressman7 1 year, 5 months ago

Re: trOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL. Jeez man, were you partaking in adult beverages when you typed that? My second comment: I see you iterated the Oprah story that has been reiterated and reiterated for years in this county. I've searched this in many ways and have yet to find anything to substantiate it. Please place something in this forum that you have found. I do remember Arsenio Hall urging people to "The ATL, Chocolate City" once upon a time.

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judgedredd 1 year, 5 months ago

I am a white male, veteran and middle of the road when it comes to politics. I voted all republican until it came to Sheriff. It's time for someone who puts his boots on the ground. Sheriff Levett will appoint a Chief and he will be able to serve this county like it should. I was in Newton Co not too long ago and I actually witnessed Sherrif Brown directing traffic. When is the last time you witnessed anything like this in Rockdale? I don't want the Sheriff directing traffic neccesarily but I would like for him to be out and open to the public and so his troops can see and speak with him too. Great job Rockdale, you got one right!

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kt 1 year, 5 months ago

It could be worse. Fergie could've won.

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heresyafacts 1 year, 5 months ago

Oden will find Fergie a job here in the 'hood. He'll keep Fergie here until the next election, and then Fergie will be Sheriff.

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NitetimeinDaytime 1 year, 4 months ago

Getting so tired of these racists comments (and yes it is racist to call Rockdale the 'hood and equate it to other metro areas with primarily black populations with crime and economics issues totally different to Rockdale). More and more "some" of you comment only on race and not merit. I can't even take some of you seriously anymore because you all see so uninformed and ignorant. A sad bunch of people.

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