However, the late count will not affect the two mayoral races, in Rockmart and Aragon.
Rockmart’s mayoral race heads into a runoff, as neither candidate garnered 51 percent of the vote. Aragon’s incumbent mayor was defeated by a margin that could not be reversed by the provisional ballot count.
Also decided Tuesday was Cedartown’s two city commission races. Two incumbent commissioners were returned to office.
Susan Williams, director of elections for Polk County, said the elections board would normally meet on the Friday after an election, but this Friday is Veterans Day.
The board will instead meet at 3 p.m. Monday.
There are 28 provisional ballots awaiting review by the board before the Rockmart election can be certified. While the 28 votes would not be enough to impact the mayoral race, an alcohol referendum could potentially be reversed, election officials said.
In Aragon, two provisional ballots are awaiting the board’s decision. An Aragon city council race was close enough that those two votes, if validated, could potentially change the outcome of that race.
Wiliams said some of the provisional ballots will likely be disqualified, but others will probably be added into the total count.
Unconfirmed addresses were an issue in some of those votes.
“There are a variety of things … such as not having a photo ID, which is needed to vote,” Williams said. “No one was turned away.”
Anyone who could not vote normally using the touch screen voting machines was given a paper ballot instead. These ballots were kept separate and have not been included in Tuesday night’s unofficial totals.
Unofficial totals for the night are as follows:
Rockmart – The Rockmart mayoral race is going into a runoff election as neither of the top two candidates garnered 51 percent of the vote. There will be a runoff between incumbent Mayor Curtis B. Lewis and former city councilman Steve Miller.
Totals in the mayor race were: Lewis, 190, for 35.71 percent of the vote; Miller, 193, (36.28 percent); Mike Bradley, 124 (23.31 percent); and Brenda C. Palmer, 25 (4.7 percent).
Election officials said the 28 provisional ballots awaiting a review in Rockmart’s election would not change the need for a runoff election.
The date for a runoff election has not been confirmed. Election officials said a runoff would typically be scheduled two to three weeks later, but the election will need to be scheduled around the Thanksgiving holiday.
The date for the runoff is expected to be announced by Monday.
Rockmart also had a contested city council race. Earl Joe Henderson easily defeated challenger Jimmy McDowell. Henderson tallied 109 votes, for 59.24 percent of the total, to McDowell’s 75 votes (40.76 percent).
The seat was open due to Miller's decision to run for mayor.
Rockmart voters also decided two alcohol referendums, which appear to have passed.
The first referendum was to allow Sunday sales of alcohol by the drink in restaurants. Tuesday’s unofficial totals have the referendum passing, with 271 “yes” votes (51.62 percent) to 254 “no” votes (48.38 percent).
However, election officials said this 17-vote margin is small enough that the 28 provisional ballots awaiting certification could potentially change the outcome.
The second referendum, however, was approved by a larger margin and could not be affected by the provisional ballots. Voters approved a referendum to allow package sales of beer and wine at stores between the hours of 12:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. on Sundays. The referendum passed with 283 “yes” votes (53.5 percent) to 246 “no” votes (46.5 percent).
Aragon – In Aragon, a two-way race for mayor was decided in favor of Ken Suffridge. He had 84 votes to 74 ballots cast for incumbent mayor Brenda F. Gazaway.
With only two candidates in the race, Suffridge's 10-vote lead was enough to take the victory.
Awaiting certification are two contested Aragon City Council races.
Aragon, like Cedartown, does not have election wards and its council seats are filled by a plurality of the vote. Four candidates sought two open seats.
Unofficial totals Tuesday night appeared to give victories to Charles H. Spinks, 81 votes (28.72 percent); and Curtis Burrus, 77 votes (27.3 percent).
However, Aragon has two provisional ballots awaiting review by the elections board. John R. Akins ended up with 76 votes (26.95 percent) and election officials said the outcome of the board’s review on Monday could potentially change the decision in this race.
For that to happen, however, both provisional ballots would have to be certified as valid votes, and both would have to go to Akins. Any other outcome for those ballots maintains the win for Burrus. (Spinks has enough votes to retain his win, regardless).
A fourth candidate, Judd Fee, had 46 votes (16.31 percent).
Cedartown – The Cedartown City Commision had two commission seats up for grabs. Seats on the commission are selected by a plurality of the vote.
The three candidates seeking the two seats were incumbent commissioners Dale Tuck and Gary Martin, and recently-retired Cedartown Police Department detective Stephen C. Molock.
Tuck and Martin were returned to office. The final tally was Tuck, 312 votes, for 35.45 percent of the total; Martin, 290 votes, for 32.95 percent; and Molock, 275 votes, or 31.25 percent of the vote.