In a Saturday night statement from his campaign, Governor Pat McCrory indicated that he is prepared to withdraw a request for a statewide recount in the Governor’s race, if a new “hand count” of the ballots in Durham County produce the same result as Election Day.
“If a Durham recount provides the same results as earlier posted, the McCrory Committee will be prepared to withdraw its statewide recount request in the Governors race,” the campaign’s release stated.
After the Democrat-controlled Durham County elections board denied the request for a recount, the Governor requested that the State Board of Elections hold an “expedited” hearing on an appeal of Durham’s decision.
On Saturday, the state board called for a Sunday afternoon conference call to discuss the issues in Durham County, while also addressing a federal lawsuit challenging same-day registration ballots filed by the Civitas Institute.
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As counties across the state have finalized their results, Governor McCrory has continued to trail Roy Cooper by less than 7,700 votes.
State law allows for a candidate to demand a recount so long as the vote is within 10,000.
Durham County has been a hotbed of allegations of voter improprieties, with accusations of ballots being cast by felons, people voting in multiple states or ballots being cast by dead people, since Election Night.
Cooper trailed Governor McCrory most of the night as results were tabulated, only to surge to a lead when some 90,000 votes suddenly appeared in Durham County, sparking speculation about the legitimacy of the results.
Despite all the allegations and evidence, the Durham County board quickly dismissed all challenges, seemingly without the thorough investigation such allegations should require.
Thomas Stark, a Durham attorney and resident, originally requested the countywide recount, but was quickly denied. The McCrory campaign committee is now asking the state board to quickly order a recount of Durham County’s early voting ballots.
According to the McCrory committee’s release, the outcome of Durham recount will determine the campaign’s next steps.
“It was concerning to learn that the Durham County Board decided to not approve attorney Tom Stark’s protest to recount the early vote totals from election night,” McCrory’s campaign manager, Russell Peck, stated. “The malfunctions and irregularities in Durham have been extremely troubling to this campaign and the people of North Carolina, and the State Board confirmed several errors.
“We are now left with no other position but to request the State Board of Elections expeditiously order a full recount of Durham county early vote totals. Once this occurs, we can all move towards a conclusion of this process.”