NC counties reject Rep. Wray’s election challenge, recount triggered

All three counties in North Carolina House District 27 have voted to reject a protest filed last Friday by Rep. Michael Wray, D-Northhampton, challenging the results of the primary election.

On Tuesday afternoon, exactly two weeks after the North Carolina primary election, the boards of elections in Warren and Halifax Counties met to consider the protest Wray filed in the District 27 primary race. He cited election irregularities that could have interfered with the election outcome, in which Wray’s primary challenger, Rodney Pierce, won by just 36 votes, the unofficial count shows.

Northampton County dismissed the protest on Monday, officials confirmed; Halifax County met on Tuesday afternoon, dismissing the protest unanimously; and, after listening presented evidence, the Warren County Board of Elections threw out the protest in a preliminary hearing on Tuesday afternoon.

“All of our research shows there was no credible reason,” said Debbie Formyduval, director of Warren County Board of Elections. She explained that no more action is required by the board, but Wray could appeal the decision to the state. 

Wray filed a request for an election recount in House District 27 on Monday, triggering preparations from the three aforementioned the three counties.

“State law provides that a candidate has the right to demand a recount of the votes if the difference between the votes for that candidate and the votes for a prevailing candidate are not more than one percent (1%) of the total votes cast in the ballot item,” a press release from Wray reads. “The current difference between the two candidates is only 35 votes which is three tenths of a percent (0.3%) of the total votes cast in the election.”

SEE ALSO: Election challenge: Democrat incumbent protests results, citing irregularities

A recount is now scheduled for Thursday in Northhampton County, in which three different races will be reexamined, including a school board race and the a race for county commission. Halifax County has scheduled a recount for March 22 and Warren County has scheduled a recount for next Monday, March 25, that the public can observe.

Wray said that he would expect his opponent to do the same thing if he were trailing by such small margins. Back in 2022, Pierce challenged his school board race when he lost by 33 votes, according to reports. As the unofficial primary winner, Pierce called the election protest a ‘conspiracy theory,’ calling on Wray to drop his challenges and concede.

The post NC counties reject Rep. Wray’s election challenge, recount triggered first appeared on Carolina Journal.


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