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.