NC Board of Elections votes for recount in Durham County of 94,000 votes

The NC Board of Elections on Wednesday during debate about whether to recount 94,000 votes in Durham County. CBS North Carolina photo.
The NC Board of Elections on Wednesday during debate about whether to recount 94,000 votes in Durham County. CBS North Carolina photo.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN/AP) – The North Carolina Board of Elections voted Wednesday night to go forward with a recount of votes in Durham County.

The board voted 3-2 along party lines ordering a recount of about 94,000 ballots that were entered late on Election Day in Durham County.

According to the N.C. Board of Elections, the partial recount ordered for Durham County will be of five early voting sites and one Election Day precinct.

The one Election Day precinct — precinct number 29 — turned in 94,000 ballots late on election night. The recount will be a machine recount, officials said.

An attorney pushing for the recount said there was reasonable suspicion about the results.

But, an attorney for Democrat Roy Cooper argued there was no legal basis for it.

“… sometimes a lot of us are disappointed and surprised by the way elections turn out, but that’s not a reason to ignore the law,” said Kevin Hamilton, an attorney for the Cooper campaign.

“There were significant irregularities in Durham that need to be addressed to provide confidence to the voters of North Carolina,” said Dallas Woodhouse of the N.C. Republican Party.

The chairman of Durham County’s Board of Elections says it could be at least a week before the recount is finished.

Meanwhile, Republican incumbent Pat McCrory keeps rejecting calls by Democrats to concede in the close race for North Carolina governor even as Roy Cooper’s lead in unofficial results has nearly doubled since election night.

McCrory told The Associated Press on Wednesday in Greenville that he’s in what might be the state’s closest gubernatorial election ever. He says he’s “going to respect the process and respect the results” and expects others to do the same.

The Durham elections board already rejected a recount request, but McCrory’s campaign emailed supporters urging them to contact the board and say they want the recount.

The latest numbers show Cooper leading by 10,329 ballots. McCrory can get a statewide recount if the lead is 10,000 votes or less. But six counties still need to report.

Graham, Cleveland, Person, Bladen, Lenoir, and Craven have yet to finalize their results.

Cooper campaign issued a statement that read in part:

“Game over. It’s time for Governor McCrory to concede. It’s clear there is no path to victory for Governor McCrory.”

Some people that CBS North Carolina spoke with Thursday morning in Durham agreed with the Cooper campaign.

I am so confused as to why it’s still going on. It’s Dec. 1. It’s a done deal. I don’t know why a recount is even in question anymore,” said Durham resident Alissa Sheely.

A supporter of Gov. McCrory even said he thinks it’s time for the governor to concede the election.

“It’s 10,000 votes. It’s time for him to concede. I voted for him, but it’s time for him to say it’s over and done let’s get on with the work for the people,” said Durham resident Karl Brady.

An attorney for Roy Cooper raised concerns about the cost to taxpayers a recount would have. It’s unclear at this point whether the county or state will pay for it.

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