Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Oconee Post 3 School Board Republican Primary Requires A Runoff

***Hammock And Mauck To Meet June 21***

Ryan Hammock and Julie Mauck are headed for a June 21 runoff as neither received more than 50 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s Republican Primary for Post 3 on the Oconee County Board of Education.

Mauck led the field with 41.7 percent of the vote, followed by 38.3 percent for Hammock and 20.0 percent for Elliott Rogers, based on the unofficial results posted just before 10 p.m. on Tuesday.

The Post 3 Board of Education primary race was the only contested local election on the ballot on Tuesday.

In the end,  12,212 of the county’s 29,155 active registered voters cast a ballot, which is 41.9 percent. Four years ago, 5,769 of the 26,226 active registered voters in the county cast a ballot, or 22.0 percent. (See note at bottom of post.)

Voters using the Democratic ballot, in response to nonbinding ballot questions, overwhelming called for nonpartisan county School Board and Board of Commissioners elections and for candidates, at least on the Board of Commissioners, to run in districts rather than at-large.

The Oconee County Republican Party leadership put the Democratic Party questions on the Republican Ballot, labeled them as written by Democrats, and then lobbied against them.

Despite that, 44.9 percent of those using the Republican ballot supported nonpartisan School Board and Board of Commissioners elections and 43.3 percent supported districts, at least for the Board of Commissioners.

Republicans also gave overwhelming support to requiring the School Board to fill vacancies with elections rather than by appointment and for giving persons more than 70 years of age a reduction in their school property taxes.

Republican voters gave less, but still strong support, to asking for Oconee County to be removed from the Western Judicial Circuit and combined with some other Judicial Circuit.

School Board Results

A total of 9,353 votes were cast in the Republican Primary for Post 3 on the School Board, with 56.8 percent of them cast on Election Day Tuesday, 40.7 cast Advanced In Person, and 2.5 percent cast by Absentee Ballot.

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Hammock got his largest percentage among the votes cast Advanced In Person (39.4 percent).

Mauck did best with Absentee Ballots, where she got 45.0 percent of the vote.

Rogers did best on Election Day, with 21.4 percent of the vote.

Hammock ran strongest in Bogart Precinct (44.0 percent) and poorest in North Oconee (32.7 percent).

Mauck did best in Colham Ferry Precinct (47.4 percent), and poorest in Dark Corner Precinct (29.0 percent).

Rogers did best in Dark Corner Precinct (33.2 percent) and poorest in Colham Ferry.

Mauck lives in City Hall Precinct (where she got 46.5 percent of the vote). Hammock and Rogers live in Dark Corner. Hammock got 37.8 percent of the vote in his home precinct.

Other Republican Results

Oconee County Republican voters selected Herschel Walker in the U.S. Senate race, giving him 58.3 percent of their vote.

Paul Broun was the slight favorite in the race for the open U.S. District 10 House seat, with 20.8 percent of the vote. He was followed closely by Vernon Jones with 17.6 percent and Timothy Barr with 17.4 percent.

Gov. Brian Kemp got 83.3 percent of Oconee County Republican ballot vote, to only 13.5 percent for David Perdue.

Burt Jones was the top vote getter in the Lieutenant Governor race, with 55.5 percent of the vote.

Jody Hice received 49.7 percent of the Republican vote in Oconee County, while incumbent Brad Raffensperger got 46.0 percent.

Oconee County voters using the Republican Ballot gave incumbent Attorney General Chris Carr 81.3 percent of their vote, incumbent Commissioner of Insurance John King 72.9 percent, and incumbent School Superintendent Richard Woods 80.6 percent of their vote.

Democratic Results

The Oconee County Democratic Party did not put up any local candidates.

Incumbent Raphael Warnock received 96.7 percent of the Democratic vote in the U.S. Senate race.

Tabitha Johnson-Greene received 36.9 percent of the vote in the U.S. House race, followed by Jessica Allison Fore, with 28.7 percent.

Oconee County Democratic voters gave Charlie Bailey 31.9 percent of their votes, and Bee Nguyen 61.1 percent in the Secretary of State Race.

Jennifer Jordan received 86.8 percent of the vote in the local Democratic Primary, and Alisha Thomas Searcy received 49.8 percent of the vote in the School Superintendent race.

Stacey Abrams ran unopposed for the party’s nomination for governor.

Ballot Items

The Oconee County Democratic Party leaders submitted two questions for inclusion on the ballot.

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The Republican Party leaders asked to see the Democratic Party submissions, and they included versions of the Democratic questions as well as three of their own questions on the Republican Ballot.

The stated intent was to get voters to reject the questions posed by the Democrats.

The original Democratic question on districts versus at large voting contained ambiguity about whether the question was to cover both the Board of Commissioners and the School Board or only the former.

The Republican question left some ambiguity about what Boards were covered.

The questions and responses to the local nonbinding questions are above.

Since the second question in ambiguous in both cases regarding the intent, and the Republican questions are written to be what social scientists call leading or biased, that is, they tip the respondent off to the preferred answer, it is difficult to know what the true sentiment of the voters is.

It is clear, however, that there is significant support, perhaps close to a majority support, among voters for at least consideration of nonpartisan elections and significant support for consideration of some form of districting.

NOTE: The turnout figure is different from the one initially reported. The Secretary of State web site reported on Tuesday evening, and continues to report on Wednesday evening, that 10,674 of the county’s 29,155 active registered voters cast a ballot, which is 36.6 percent. 

Jennifer Stone, Assistant Director of Elections and Registration for Oconee County, released the Statement of Votes Cast on Wednesday showing the higher figure. I noticed the discrepancy and contacted Stone. Stone confirmed in an email late on Wednesday that the correct total of votes cast is 12,212.

She said she does not know why the Secretary of State site is in error, but she said she checked other results on the site and found no other errors. I also made comparisons and found no errors.


Dark Horse said...

I think it worth mentioning and widely known that since Oconee County Democrats had no “dogs in the hunt”, a large number of them voted using the Republican ballot in a successful effort to skew the actual results.
- Mike Horsman

Dark Horse said...

What was the Democrat turnout rate compared to the Republican turnout rate? I have been unsuccessful in finding those numbers.
-Mike Horsman

Retired teacher Lawrence said...

Thanks for your complete coverage of the primary outcomes and your follow-up when there are discrepancies!
=D Lawrence

Lee Becker said...

There is no way to compute turnout by party because we do not have party registration. I am trying to get accurate figures on ballot chosen by mode of vote. I hope to have them today.

Lee Becker said...

I have other comments that I am not publishing because the writer did not use a real name. If the persons who submitted them resubmits them with a real name, I will publish them.

Dark Horse said...

Thanks Lee! It’s bad we don’t have party registration as that is what makes this sort of thing possible.

Lee Becker said...


The parties classify people by party in their databases, based on past voting history and other personal information they collect. The public record only includes past voting. The data files available from the Secretary of State Office only list vote in the most recent election for which a person asked for a party ballot. This has limited value because people who consider themselves to be independents or what we might call strategic voters can switch party at any point, voting Republican in one election and Democratic in another. Since the data file I get from the Secretary of State Office only lists the last vote, it misses this.

Many states have these open primaries. I just looked online and found that the count is 22. I have lived in states with both open and closed primaries. I have not found anything online on the history of open primaries in Georgia. I will continue to look.


Dark Horse said...

Thanks Lee, you are a gentleman and a scholar.