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Marshall calls it a win in 8th (Military votes not in)
Macon Telegraph ^ | November 9 | Travis Fain

Posted on 11/09/2006 4:28:46 PM PST by PghBaldy

Former congressman Mac Collins spent most of Wednesday saying, through his campaign staff, that he was still in a close race for the 8th Congressional District, and that he wanted to see every vote counted.

U.S. Rep. Jim Marshall, D-Ga., held 50.5 percent of the vote and a 1,733 vote edge. He had declared victory. There were some votes still uncounted, but a Telegraph check of outstanding ballots didn't turn up enough uncounted votes to swing the race.

Throughout the day, the Collins campaign had volunteers and attorneys in various counties, watching the process of cataloging provisional ballots and any late-arriving military absentee ballots, according to campaign manager Ted Prill. Then, shortly before 6 p.m., Prill called The Telegraph to say that Collins would concede after all. An e-mailed concession would be coming shortly, Prill said.

Four hours later, none had arrived. There was no answer at Collins' campaign headquarters in Warner Robins. Prill, campaign communications director Bill Hagan and Collins himself didn't answer their cell phones or return repeated telephone messages.

Marshall, who had flown to Washington, D.C., to be ready for a slate of meetings today, said he didn't hear from Collins one way or the other Wednesday. The same went for Marshall's campaign headquarters.

"They haven't contacted us," Marshall press secretary Doug Moore said. "I really just don't know anything other than that."

The Associated Press, CNN and MSNBC called the race for Marshall on Wednesday, though Fox News did not. There is a chance that enough Collins votes will turn up before the election is certified early next week to bring the margin of Marshall's victory within 1 percent of the total number of votes cast, which would allow Collins to request a recount. That margin was just below 1.1 percent Wednesday night, with several hundred outstanding ballots that may, or may not, figure into the election.

Those outstanding ballots include as-yet-unreturned absentee ballots mailed to military service members, which must be received by Friday, and provisional ballots. Provisional ballots are votes that haven't been ruled eligible or ineligible by elections officials for various reasons, such as the voter in question having recently changed his or her address.

The vast majority of outstanding ballots are absentee military ballots and a high percentage of those would have to be returned, and be cast for Collins, to trigger a recount. Elections officials in several counties said that, based on previous election history, it's very unlikely that many of the outstanding military ballots will be returned at all.

"I don't expect them to come back," Pulaski County registrar Carol Schneider said of her eight outstanding military ballots.

"It might not change at all," said Jasper County registrar Carole Norris, who was waiting on 16 ballots.

The Telegraph tried to contact elections officials in all 21 counties that make up the 8th District. Officials in 15 were reached, including representatives of the counties with the most votes cast in the election: Bibb, Houston, Monroe, Jones, Tift, Newton and Colquitt counties.

This check turned up 477 outstanding votes, compared to the 159,025 already counted.

Moore said the Marshall campaign was able to reach more of the counties and counted "600-plus" outstanding ballots. That's still not enough to change the outcome and, "frankly, most of those will not come in," Moore predicted. Prill declined to comment on how many votes the Collins campaign believes to be outstanding.

"We're going to make sure every vote gets counted," Prill said early Wednesday afternoon.

Said Moore: "Mathematically, they can't win the race. ... I don't know why they're drawing it out."

Marshall said Wednesday evening in a telephone interview that he appreciated Collins' "career as a public servant" and expected him to concede.

Marshall said he sees "no reason" for Collins not to concede, "but he'll have to make that decision on his own."

"One of the remarkable things about our democracy is that we've had all of these races and nobody's been shot," Marshall said. "If this takes a little bit longer, so be it. I think Mac will wind up coming around and wind up concluding that he needs to be the person that he has always been. ... Go ahead and call it."

To contact Travis Fain, call 744-4213 or e-mail


A CLOSER LOOK AT THE 8TH The win by U.S. Rep. Jim Marshall, D-Ga., was part of a Democratic push across the country, and his party took a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. But in Middle Georgia Marshall didn't just win traditionally Democratic areas, he fared well in precincts won by Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue. He was also part of a trend of incumbents winning across the state.

In Bibb County, Marshall easily carried every precinct won by Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor, who was running on the Democratic ticket against Perdue. But of the 20 Bibb precincts that Perdue won, Marshall won eight. Collins took the rest, but won the 20 precincts by a total of 956 votes, according to results from the Macon-Bibb County Board of Elections.

That's just more than 5 percent of the 17,778 votes cast in the Perdue precincts. It should be noted that these figures do not include advance and absentee votes, which are counted in a separate precinct and could come from voters who live in any precinct.

In Houston County, Marshall benefited from a similar phenomenon. Perdue won all but three of 28 Houston precincts. Marshall picked up eight of those precincts, as well as the three that went to Taylor. But he also ran strong in several other precincts that Perdue won, coming within a few percentage points of Collins in five of them.

In many ways, the race was 'won in Houston County,' Mercer political science professor and political analyst Chris Grant said.

'If Collins had won Houston County with as much of the vote as well as Perdue won Houston County, Collins would be sitting in Congress now,' he said.

TOPICS: Politics/Elections; US: Georgia
KEYWORDS: elections; ga; maccollins; marshall
Elections officials in several counties said that, based on previous election history, it's very unlikely that many of the outstanding military ballots will be returned at all. I wonder how often military votes are even counted? Do they just toss them?
1 posted on 11/09/2006 4:28:48 PM PST by PghBaldy
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To: PghBaldy

a repeat in 2 years for this seat, if it's this close he's a vulnerable DemoncRAT incumbent.

2 posted on 11/09/2006 4:31:31 PM PST by Steven W.
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To: Steven W.

Yup, in a year when voters were actually thinking this would have been an easy pick-up for the GOP. Frankly, it should have been anyway. But oh well.

3 posted on 11/09/2006 4:34:19 PM PST by MikeA (Where's the media to call the elections a "temper tantrum" by America like they did in 1994?)
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To: PghBaldy
My gut feeling...

The Rats will do anything to suppress overseas military voting by 08.

4 posted on 11/09/2006 4:35:43 PM PST by darkwing104 (Let's get dangerous)
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To: Steven W.

Not to mention the fact that Mac Collins won Houston County.....Jim Marshall's HOME COUNTY!!!!

5 posted on 11/09/2006 4:38:59 PM PST by cincinnati65 (Lucky participant in 189 different Nigerian business deals......still waiting on payment.)
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To: PghBaldy
How come Mac had so much trouble down there? Did they look at him as an outsider coming down there/ I thought he would walk right in that seat.
6 posted on 11/09/2006 4:40:30 PM PST by southernerwithanattitude ({new and improved redneck})
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To: southernerwithanattitude

He woulda won in a less Democrat-friendly year.

7 posted on 11/09/2006 4:45:19 PM PST by JohnnyZ ("I respect and will protect a woman's right to choose" -- Mitt Romney, April 2002)
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To: PghBaldy

It really is a shame how close so many of the elections were. I 86 year old woman I know didn't vote, and she always does. She's a Repub...

8 posted on 11/09/2006 4:49:02 PM PST by PghBaldy (Reporter: Are you surprised? Nancy Pelosi: No. My eyes always look like this.)
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To: Steven W.
"a repeat in 2 years for this seat, if it's this close he's a vulnerable DemoncRAT incumbent."

Naah. The leftist leadership will let him take political cover when necessary, and they will let him bring the pork home to his district. Unless he screws up he will win by 15% points when he's up for reelection. The dems may be crazy but they aren't stupid, well maybe a little, but not that stupid. They tend to get a little smart when their power is on the line.

9 posted on 11/09/2006 5:23:18 PM PST by KoRn
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To: PghBaldy

Marshall is one of the most conservative Democrats in the house. He is very pro-military.

10 posted on 11/09/2006 5:41:25 PM PST by magellan
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