Woodruff said “having peace of mind and having confidence in the accuracy” were his main objectives in requesting the recout.
“Too many people worked too hard in my race for me not to ask for the recount with the difference being so small,” Woodruff said. “It’s not really a 42-vote difference. If there were 22 votes counted incorrectly, that would swing the results. His (votes) would go down as mine went up, which would make it right at a tenth of one percent (difference).”
Georgia law provides a recount upon request if the difference is not more than 1 percent.
After 21,914 votes were cast, district attorney Herbert “Buzz” Franklin received 10,978 votes over Woodruff’s 10,936 votes, which is less than a fifth of 1 percent.
Woodruff, a public defender in the four-county Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit, led the election race until the final votes were tallied. He said there were “stories” circulating regarding problems at a couple of the precincts, but after inquiring he felt the explanations were satisfactory.
“I think if there’s a chance of error, we’re more likely to find it in the paper ballots,” Woodruff said. “Those are fed through a reader. It’s a physical process and there were a lot of ballots in play, so you might see some change. I just want to be sure. As much as anything, it’s to honor those that worked so hard. Essentially, half the people did support me. Regardless of the outcome, it has been a universally positive experience for me and a distinct honor to have run.”
The Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit includes Walker, Catoosa, Dade and Chattooga counties.