UPDATE – Jeter withdraws
The District 1 Grady County Commission special election may also go down in the history books. As of Tuesday night, unofficial returns indicate a three-way run-off between Richard Jordan, June Duke Knight, and Earle Jeter. However, Wednesday morning Jeter unexpectedly withdrew. He was not available Wednesday afternoon to discuss his decision.
Jordan garnered 179 votes and Knight and Jeter had 131 each.
Grady County Election Superintendent Denise Maddox reports there was one provisional ballot cast at the Blowing Cave precinct. That ballot will be opened by the Board of Registrars at 2 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 13. If the ballot is determined legitimate and is for either Knight or Jeter it could prove to eliminate one of them.
If the ballot is valid and is for another candidate, a three-way run-off election will be held on Dec. 5.
“I’ve never heard of this happening before,” Maddox said Tuesday night before calling the Secretary of State’s office to consult with state elections officials.
Typically, the Board of Registrars would meet on Friday to open the provisional ballot, but this Friday is the observed Veterans Day holiday and county offices are closed.
Regardless of the outcome of the provisional ballot, the run-off will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 5, according to Maddox.
The fourth candidate in the race, Frank Jones, garnered 93 votes.
Based on the unofficial returns, Jordan had 33.46 percent of the vote and Knight and Jeter both had 24.49 percent of the vote with Jones coming in at 17.38 percent.
While the vote count Tuesday was not heavy, it was particularly slow at Ragan and Higdon precincts. In Higdon, only one voter cast a ballot and it was for Jordan. In Ragan, a whopping total of two votes were cast Tuesday, one for Jeter and one for Jones.
Ragan poll manager Hilda Murphy commented Tuesday night, “It’s been a long day, a very long day.”
Knight carried Whigham, Jeter carried Lime Sink and Spring Hill, and Jordan carried Blowing Cave, and the advanced voting.
The winner of the run-off will replace veteran commissioner Elwyn Childs who resigned in September due to health concerns.