DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — A week after the election, the race for governor remains tight in North Carolina.
Now, some say it might well be until 2017 before voters officially know who the next governor is.
Wednesday, the Durham County Board of Elections will hold a hearing on a request to recount 93,000 votes.
Attorneys are looking into what happened to a block of votes that came in late in the night. If those results are eventually contested, they’d go before the Republican-led General Assembly.
“What’s happening in Durham is not an issue really of dispute, it’s an issue of counting,” said Allison Riggs, a senior attorney with the Southern Coalition for Social Justice.
She questions whether the governor’s race would get to a point where the trailing candidate, in this case McCrory, would contest the results of the election.
Under state law, that contest would go before the General Assembly.
“Based on the facts known to us right now, I don’t think that seems appropriate,” she said.
That’s because, she said, no provisional or absentee ballots are in dispute.
This week, counties across the state will tally provisional and absentee ballots that were uncounted.
Should 10,000 votes or fewer separate the candidates, McCrory could request a recount.
After that, should the governor’s campaign say it can document problems with the election that impacted the outcome of the vote, there’s a process where the results could be contested.
“What we’re talking about here essentially in 2016 is a dispute that involves ballots or counting of ballots,” said Palmer Sugg, Republican attorney.
Sugg has about 30 years of experience working on election law cases.
In Durham, the county was unable to upload results on Election Night from six electronic memory cards that save ballot data.
But Durham was able to print out a tape log of the results and entered them manually. A petition has been filed to recount those votes.