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Habersham district state House primary voided over error; redo ordered

ATLANTA — A judge has ordered the election for a state House seat in North Georgia be redone after dozens voted in the wrong race.

Rep. Dan Gasaway, of Homer, will get another chance to retain his seat after it appeared he lost the May 22 Republican primary to challenger Chris Erwin by 67 votes, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported .

Senior Superior Court Judge David Sweat on Wednesday ordered a new primary election held Dec. 4. With no Democrat in the race, the primary winner will become the district’s state representative.

The error, which was acknowledged by Habersham County election officials in a letter sent to affected voters, occurred when mapping mistakes led to some voters being put in a neighboring district represented by state Rep. Terry Rogers. It came after repeated changes in recent years to district maps.

Habersham election officials said that 402 registered voters received letters notifying them they had been assigned to the wrong House district. Of those, 70 participated in the Republican primary — just over Gasaway’s margin of defeat.

“It’s important that voters’ votes are counted correctly,” Gasaway said, according to the newspaper.

But Erwin said he’s ready and expects the same results as the initial primary.

“We’re ready to run and win again,” Erwin said.

The district includes about half of Habersham County, as well as Banks and Stephens counties in Georgia’s northeast corner.

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