DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – After hearing complaints from citizens, the Durham County Board of Elections said Friday it “would not be unreasonable” for the state to call for a redo of the March primary for county commissioner.
The board held an emergency meeting Friday afternoon to consider what to tell the state Board of Elections when it hears protests from candidates on Tuesday.
“It is very important for the state Board of Elections to understand and acknowledge the level of public anxiety related to this matter,” said board chairman Bill Brian. “It would not be unreasonable for the state Board of Elections to consider ordering a new primary for the Durham County Board of Commissioners to address the public’s concerns.”
Earlier this month, election officials revealed about 200 provisional ballots in Durham County were counted twice to try to get vote totals to match. State officials have said the issue could result in the county needing to re-certify the election results and not count more than 1,000 provisional ballots.
State and local officials say, ultimately, the results of races were not impacted by the issue.
However, some candidates say confidence in the system needs to be restored.
Elaine Hyman, who ran for county commissioner, told the board, “There’s a loss of integrity.”
Hyman plans to take her concerns to the state board Tuesday. She finished seventh in the primary, with the top five getting the Democratic Party’s nominations. Because no Republicans ran, the primary likely determined who will end up winning the general election.
“I think that it’s more important to restore confidence in the electoral process,” she said.
But, some question whether redoing the primary race makes sense.
“It seems unlikely that we need to redo an election, and it seems unlikely that you’d be able to get 80,000 people back out to vote in that election,” said Lorisa Seibel, coordinator of the People’s Alliance PAC. “Before any decisions are made about how to address the problem, how do you solve the problem before you know what the problem is?”
State election officials are still investigating and consulting with the district attorney on whether criminal charges could be filed as a result of what happened.
Full statement from Durham County Board of Elections