As Ballot Counts Continue, A Long Path Looms For McCrory, Cooper...And Voters

As Ballot Counts Continue, A Long Path Looms For McCrory, Cooper...And Voters

3:50pm Nov 22, 2016
Roy Cooper (D) and Gov. Pat McCrory (R) in the gubernatorial debate on October 11, 2016. (Courtesy of UNC TV)

Two weeks after Election Day, North Carolinians are no closer to knowing who their next governor will be.  

As of Tuesday afternoon, the voter count from the State Board of Elections had Democratic challenger Roy Cooper with a roughly 6,300 vote lead over Gov. Pat McCrory out of more than 4.69 million votes cast.

WFDD’s David Ford spoke with Wake Forest University Professor John Dinan for more on why the final results are still likely several weeks away.

Interview Highlights

On the voter fraud and technical trouble claims being made by the McCrory campaign thus far:

One of them is Bladen County and the question of absentee ballots, or whether or not individuals who assisted certain persons in filling out those ballots properly identified themselves as having given assistance, or the handwriting is said to be similar on a number of absentee ballots.

In Durham County, folks are still trying to get a handle on some technical issues—the malfunction of some equipment early in the day. They had to keep the polling places open somewhat later in certain precincts. They didn’t actually report some of the votes until much later in the evening.

And then there’s a wide range of other issues that fall under whether or not people who were disenfranchised because of felony convictions might have voted, or whether other individuals may have improperly voted.

On the evidence of voter fraud presented to date:

These matters have been handled in particular counties and for the most part the county election boards have been unanimous or near unanimous in rejecting the claims that have been brought forth. The McCrory campaign says it’s launched protests in some fifty counties. Folks are still tracking these down and following those.

Since the Nov. 8th election, experts have been discussing how this gubernatorial race could eventually play out, and John Dinan says they involve different stages.

The first to be completed is the county canvassing stage, where each county gets a final initial count of the votes cast. Once those numbers have been certified, if the margin of victory is lower than ten thousand votes, the losing candidate can order a recount.

On Tuesday, Governor McCrory announced his request for a statewide recount. In his letter to the State Board of Elections, he acknowledged that he was filing for the recount before the completion of the canvassing. Meanwhile, various election protests and other issues are being handled at the State Board of Elections.

On one last remaining avenue for the McCrory campaign, should a recount favor Cooper:

That is the Constitution of North Carolina says that the legislature may decide contested elections pursuant to law. A law was set out in 2005 for how various contested election processes are handled. Basically, it involves the legislature appointing a committee made up of some senators and house members and then the committee can study this. Eventually it can come to a point where the legislature could reach a decision on its own of how the election should be resolved, or, in some cases, whether a revote should be ordered.  

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