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Alabama State Senate District 27 race separated by 1 vote

Published: May. 31, 2022 at 5:54 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Provisional ballots were counted in Lee County today. The outcome of those ballots could change the results of The Alabama State Senate race in District 27.

On election night last Tuesday, results showed Auburn City Councilman Jay Hovey in the lead by a mere four votes over Incumbent Tom Whatley.

As it stands right now, Jay Hovey is winning by only one vote above Tom Whatley.

The District 27 State Senate seat covers parts of Lee, Tallapoosa and Russell counties. Provisional ballots were counted in Lee and Tallapoosa counties.

There were no provisional ballots in Russell County for this seat.

Here’s the breakdown of the votes.

“That one extra makes all the difference,” says Jay Hovey

The Alabama State Senate Race District 27 has been neck in neck.

Incumbent Tom Whatley has held the seat since 2010. On Election Day, May 24, Auburn City Councilman Jay Hovey had 8,367 votes, only four more than Whatley’s 8,363.

Tuesday afternoon, the provisional ballots were counted. Provisional ballots are ballots that are collected on election day but not officially tallied due to possible issues with the voter’s eligibility.

There was a total of 40 provisional ballots accepted out of 63.

Twenty-seven of those were rejected.

District 27 is made up of Lee, Russell and Tallapoosa counties.

In Lee County, Whatley had six additional votes added, and Hovey had four.

In Tallapoosa, Whatley had three, and Hovey had 2. Then none from Russell County that could count towards the District 27 race.

After adding those additional votes to the ones from election day, Hovey is winning by one vote over Whatley.

“It looks like I won by one, something to be very proud of the results of our home county. Both senator Whatley and I are from lee county if nothing else I’m very proud that our home county showed out for me.”

These provisional ballots that are now being added to the total votes will be given to Republican Executive Committee chair Elizabeth Ham who will pass it on to the Republican party and then the secretary of state. Ham says on Friday, after the official winner is announced, the other candidate has 48 hours to ask for a recount.

The candidate who asks for a recount has to pay four thousand dollars. Whatley was not at the official provisional ballot counting, but we did catch up with Hovey on how he is feeling and what is going through his mind.

“I’m shocked, surprised and still a little in a bit of a fog but very tickled to have at least one. So we certainly highlighted the need for everyone to show up on voting day.” When asked if about his city council position in Auburn he says he will worry about that later once this is all over.

If anyone ever says, “My vote does not count,” this is proof that it does.

Once an official winner is announced Friday, the winning Republican candidate will face Sherri Reese in the November general election.

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