Chatham County Board of Elections certifies runoff results day before deadline

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Chatham County’s runoff election results are now official after a virtual meeting between board members and the county’s elections supervisor. The move was made one day before Friday’s deadline.

With his signature and Elections Supervisor Russell Bridges standing by his side, Chairman Tom Mahoney is one of several who made the certification official.

“To do all of those elections and to do it on a new system, a completely new voting system during the pandemic, and to have it go as smoothly as it did…my congratulations to everyone,” said Mahoney outside of the Board of Elections headquarters.

Bridges says certification is more of a formality and that most of the work had been completed in the days after the election.

“We are telling the state and the public that we have done everything necessary to collect ballots, count and tabulate those ballots. We have reviewed everything we have and we know that this is as accurate as it can be,” said Bridges.

Next, couriers will physically deliver returns to the state. The Georgia Secretary of State has until next Friday to certify results statewide.

“Once the state has collected the returns from all the counties, they will begin their certification,” said Bridges.

Amid some national backlash, Mahoney wants to clarify why he and Bridges sent some Board of Elections workers home on election night.

He says the Board of Registrars needed until 1 a.m. to process a few thousand remaining ballots. It’s a process that needs to happen before the ballots can be tabulated at the Board of Elections.

He says he asked them, at that point, to come back early the next day.

“Our workers would have had to sit there with nothing to do for 3 hours, already having worked 12-14 hours and being exhausted,” he said. “So I think the call was the right call.”

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