It could be weeks before a final outcome is determined in the race between Congressman Scott DesJarlais and state Sen. Jim Tracy. The incumbent was almost considered the underdog following revelations that he once pressured a mistress to have an abortion. And Thursday night, both men claimed victory.
The Secretary of State’s unofficial total has Congressman DesJarlais up by 35 votes. But at this point, state election officials don’t even have a precise count of how many provisional ballots might be out there. In Rutherford County alone there are eight, according to a local election official.
State spokesman Blake Fontenay says across the district an unknown number of voters showed up without a photo ID, which is required under state law now. They have until Monday afternoon to come back.
“If they thought it might not be important to return and have their vote counted, then certainly seeing the results would possibly provide an incentive.”
County election commissions have until August 25th to certify the results. Then candidates have five days to challenge. If they do, the final decision would be made by the Republican state executive committee, since the party governs its own primaries.