Recount: Brinn and Davis remain 60 votes apart
Published 2:27 pm Wednesday, November 23, 2016
A recount in the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners race is coming.
When that recount occurs depends on when the North Carolina State Board of Elections determines a date and time for the ballot-tabulating event that includes all eligible ballots cast for the Nov. 8 general election.
After conducting its canvass Wednesday, the three-member Beaufort County Board of Elections certified the county’s vote totals. During the canvass, incumbent Commissioner Gary Brinn and challenger Derik Davis, both Republicans, each gained on vote from seven provisional ballots approved by the board. Updated official vote totals show Brinn as the fourth-highest vote-getter in the commissioners contest, just 60 votes ahead of Derik Davis, who finished fifth among seven candidates. Brinn collected 3,290 votes to Davis’ 3,230 votes. The difference between their votes is less than 1 percent.
Under North Carolina law (General Statute 163-182), a candidate can demand a recount if the difference between the votes for that candidate and the votes of the winning candidate is less than 1 percent of the total votes cast in a non-statewide race, or in the case of a multi-seat ballot item, 1 percent of the votes cast for those two candidates.
Davis must file a written request for a recount. He was expected to file the request Wednesday afternoon, according to an elections board official. Davis telephoned the board’s office during the canvass meeting to find out the results in the commissioners contest. Brinn attended the meeting.
“He (Davis) is entitled to a recount,” said Kellie Harris Hopkins, the county’s elections director. “(Tuesday), Mr. Chuck Stuber and Gov. McCrory also sent in to the state requests for recounts. So, we will do all that together and they won’t be separate. Whenever the state allows us to conduct recounts, which will probably be sometime next week, we will do that, if we receive (a request) from Mr. Davis.”
Stuber is in a close race with incumbent Beth Wood for the state auditor position. Wood holds a lead of about 4,200 votes.
In another matter, the board dismissed a protest by Joseph Knox, who alleged three felons voted in the Nov. 8 general election. Knox, who wanted their ballots excluded from vote counts, failed to appear at the preliminary hearing conducted by the board before the canvass began. Board member John Tate, an attorney, noted Knox’s protest did not include affidavits (sworn statements) and there were not witnesses to present evidence (under oath) regarding the protest. Tate’s motion to dismiss the protest was unanimously approved by the board, which also includes Chairman Jay McRoy and Tom Payne.