This week, two Gadsden area State House of Representative races were settled by thin margins.
In the State House District 28 contest, former State Rep. Mack Butler defeated incumbent State Rep. Gil Isbell (R-Gadsden) by 202 votes, nearly 4% of the votes cast in that Republican primary election.
State House District 29 had an even tighter margin. Mark Gidley beat Jamie Grant by 82 votes, which was 1% of the votes cast in a Republican primary election for the seat previously held by former State Rep. Becky Nordgren, who was elected Etowah County Revenue Commissioner in 2021.
Earlier this month, Mack Butler's sister discovered when attempting to vote absentee that she was not given a ballot with the correct candidates, which was an apparent oversight acknowledged by Etowah County Probate Judge Scott Hassell, according to a May 11 report from The Gadsden Times' Miranda Prescott.
On Wednesday, Hassell and Secretary of State John Merrill issued a joint statement, which according to the Times, revealed that during the party primary vote on Tuesday, the problem "had not been corrected."
"Voters in the areas where voting districts changed because of redistricting after the 2020 Census may have been given a ballot that had them voting in the wrong district for the two-state House of Representatives races and the two Etowah County Commission races thought to have been decided Tuesday," the Times' Donna Thornton wrote.
Merrill and Hassell's statement said it was "unknown" how many voters were impacted by the mistake. It also put the onus on county and state party executive committees to certify the results because it was a party primary vote.
Late Tuesday, Isbell conceded the election to Butler. Grant, however, had not conceded the outcome to Gidley, and, late Wednesday, he was soliciting responses from those who may have received the wrong ballot on his Facebook page.
Also impacted were the primary races for Etowah County Commission Districts 4 and 5.
To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email jeff.poor@1819News.com.
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