Politics

Republican Rob Woodall Expected To Hold Onto 7th District Seat

U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall, shown at a new Amazon delivery station that opened in Lawrenceville last month, is expected to hold onto his 7th Congressional District seat. He faced Democratic challenger Carolyn Bourdeaux in the race. The district covers Forsyth and Gwinnett counties.
U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall, shown at a new Amazon delivery station that opened in Lawrenceville last month, is expected to hold onto his 7th Congressional District seat. He faced Democratic challenger Carolyn Bourdeaux in the race. The district covers Forsyth and Gwinnett counties.
Credit Tasnim Shamma / WABE

Republican U.S. House Rep. Rob Woodall is expected to hold onto his 7th Congressional District seat after Gwinnett County completed certifying election results Thursday night.

Woodall leads Democratic challenger Carolyn Bourdeaux by 419 votes in the district that covers Gwinnett and Forsyth counties.

During a meeting certifying election results, Gwinnett County Board of Registrations and Elections Chairman Stephen Day said a total of 572 ballots were counted in Gwinnett on Thursday night. They included 444 absentee ballots that were previously rejected due to birthdate issues, 113 ballot from overseas and military personnel and 15 additional provisional ballots that had issues with a signature not matching.

More than 75 people attended a meeting to certify election results at the Gwinnett County Board of Registrations and Elections. While awaiting results, some audience members debated Donald Trump’s presidency, while others sang “Lean on Me” by Bill Withers. (Tasnim Shamma/WABE)

“As a practical matter, it appears that the number of ballots that contained errors or omissions in addresses would not be enough to change the outcome of any election still undecided in Gwinnett County or the state,” Day said.

Additionally, there was no change in the four precincts that were recanvassed.

“We basically lined up with all the other counties and I was looking at some of our results against DeKalb and Cobb and Fulton,” Day said. “The people that cast a provisional ballot here in Gwinnett County had a real high probability of that vote counting.”

Day was teary-eyed after the meeting. He said, as a Democratically appointed member of the board, he would have personally liked to see Bourdeaux win, but he emphasized that political bias was kept out of the certification process.

During a meeting Thursday certifying election results, Gwinnett County Board of Registrations and Elections Chairman Stephen Day said political bias was kept out of the certification process. Day said the number of absentee ballots at play in Gwinnett County does not appear to change any election outcomes in the county or state. (Tasnim Shamma/WABE)

“I’m going to get emotional about this, y’all,” Day said. “Voting is sacred, and we don’t take this lightly. I want you to understand that everybody up here, whether I agreed or disagreed with them, and believe me there were disagreements, at the end of the day, every person up here did what they thought was the right thing.”

Bourdeaux has two days to request a vote recount. Her campaign said in a statement after the results were certified that it would review the results and discuss how to proceed.

Woodall said he was “excited and humbled” by the election results and called for unity.

State law allows either candidate in a race to request a recount if the vote difference is less than 1 percent.

The final certified vote count in the Georgia governor’s race is also expected Friday afternoon.

Secretary of State Robyn Crittenden issued guidance to counties Thursday to review absentee ballots that might have been rejected, over issues like missing birthdates, and submit their final vote tallies by 5 p.m. Friday.

Earlier this week, a federal judge ordered the Secretary of State’s office not to certify results before Friday afternoon.

Democrat Stacey Abrams has not conceded the race. Republican Brian Kemp declared himself governor-elect last week.