RALEIGH – We reported Thursday on the razor thin race for Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court. Since election night, Republican Justice Paul Newby led Democrat and current Chief Justice Cheri Beasley by several thousand votes, but over the last couple of days that began to change.
Thursday, November 12, was the last day to accept absentee ballots, that still required a postmark by election day (November 3), but some how too nine days to arrive at county boards of elections.
Well, wouldn’t you know it, in the last few days Newby’s lead started getting smaller, falling to under 1000 on the 12th. In the final hours, Beasley got enough late-arriving absentee votes to overtake the lead. With more than 5.3 million votes cast, Beasley pulled ahead in the final hours by less than a thousand votes.
This is about as close as it gets for a statewide race, and while it won’t generate the media attention that would come with the same margin being in the governor’s race, it is still a race of consequence.
Newby was the only Republican on the high court heading into this year’s election. Fortunately, two other Republicans won their 2020 races to increase that number of Republicans on the bench by at least one. Newby, though, would have been a third Republican, and the chief justice at that.
So, it looks like we’re headed for a recount, as Republicans have already started raising funds for the effort. Recounts use to be pretty rare, especially in statewide races. As with much else, 2020 is the year the rare becomes run-of-the-mill.
Just another thing to watch, and wait, and cross your fingers for if you care about guarding against the radicalism of the Modern Marxians pushing a Woke Revolution.