Third time’s the charm? Judge orders another special election in Georgia House District 28

On February 1, 2019, a judge ordered a third election for Georgia House of Representatives District 28, ruling that the second primary election in December 2018 was invalid.

Chris Erwin (R) challenged Rep. Dan Gasaway (R) in the original Republican primary for the seat on May 22, 2018. No Democratic candidate filed. Erwin won that election by a margin of 67 votes, but the election was deemed inconclusive due to a mapping error in which dozens of voters—more than the margin of victory—received the wrong ballots.

Erwin and Gasaway faced off again in a repeat primary on December 4, 2018, which Erwin won by two votes. However, Gasaway challenged the election results.

In the February 1 decision, Senior Superior Court Judge David Sweat ruled that a third election was necessary because four votes—double the margin of victory—were improperly cast. Three voters had moved out of District 28 before casting their votes, and one voter cast two votes in the December do-over.

Erwin was sworn into office on January 14, 2019, but he was ordered to step down on February 8.

The third election is set for April 9, 2019. Because no Democratic candidate has filed in the district, the winner of the Republican primary will represent the district in the Georgia House of Representatives.