At least one other election protest is likely, and several candidates could ask for a recount depending on the results of Monday's canvass.
Unofficial results show Maynor defeated Laura Sampson by 34 votes, 197 to 163.
Dock Locklear, director of the county Elections Office, said that the candidates can make their case in something similar to a “probable cause” hearing before his board, and then the board decides on whether the case moves forward to a second hearing. According to Locklear, if the board finds there was vote-buying or other crimes, the case could be turned over to the judicial system.
Maynor had previously filed a pre-election complaint, saying that $5 coupons for the Huddle House were given in exchange for votes for his opponent, Laura Sampson. The state Board of Elections was to send an investigator to the county.
The protest is a post-election avenue, but is typically done by losers.
“I feel pretty strong evidence that there's been vote-buying - there's no doubt in my mind about that,” Maynor said.
But according to Mary Hunt, Laura Sampson's mother, vote-buying was not a part of Sampson's campaign.
“Everything he said in the newspaper was an absolute lie - we have not bought any votes,” Hunt said in a phone call to The Robesonian.
“This is our first campaign,” she said. “We don't know how to buy votes. We were out here struggling ... We have been assured by a campaign attorney that we didn't break any laws because no one was promised anything. Nobody was promised anything.”
Hunt said she talked to police about how campaigners “used fear tactics on the citizens,” but police told her to file an election complaint. However, the only official complaint filed the county Board of Election was Maynor's.
“We chose not to go the low road,” she said. “We chose to go the high road.”
According to Hunt, Maynor's supporters “started a private phone campaign to all the senior citizens (that) if they voted for Laura Sampson there would be a group home with sex offenders and child molesters behind the Food Lion store.”
Maynor claims campaign antics that included vandalism.
On Nov. 2, four days before the election, Maynor filed a police report concerning vandalism to this 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe. According to the report, Maynor was at a function at the West Lumberton School and parked his vehicle on the side of the road.
According to the report, as Maynor was leaving the function, “the suspect walked by him with a funny look on his face. Mr. Maynor stated that when he got home he parked his vehicle under the carport; he then received a phone call stating that he needs to check his vehicle. As he began to check the vehicle he found on the driver side where the suspect used an unknown object to damage the vehicle.”
But Hunt said that Sampson's side kept the campaign clean.
“We have said absolutely nothing,” Hunt said. “If it was dirty, it obviously had to come from him.”
Locklear was unsure when the case would be heard.
“The board will set up a time and place to hear the complaint, and all parties involved would be notified and they would have an opportunity to come before the board,” Locklear said. “They would be sworn just like a court proceeding - submit evidence. The other side would have the opportunity to rebut anything.”
He said either party, if unhappy with the local board's decision, can appeal to the state Board of Elections.
Robert “Bob” Williamson, a candidate for the Pembroke Town Council, said he plans to ask for a new election on Monday, citing several alleged improprieties. Williamson finished fourth in a four-man race for two spots, 31 ballots behind the second-place finisher.
“The Board of Election's rules and regulations were not followed,” Williamson said.
Williamson alleges that several people who don't live in the town limits were allowed to vote. A woman who hauled in voters was allowed to fill out two separate ballots, according to Williamson.
Williamson also alleges that some citizens who were hauled in were intoxicated. He also alleges that one of the candidates was handing out improper sample ballots. Residents of a housing project also allegedly told Williamson that they had been told they would be evicted if they didn't “vote for the right candidate.”
“I've got to get statements from witnesses, but I plan to turn in my paperwork on Monday,” Williamson said. “If I am going to lose the election, I want to lose under the proper circumstances, not by underhanded means.”
In Pembroke, Fairmont and Maxton, three candidates could ask for a recount.
According to state law, a candidate can ask for a recount if his margin of defeat is 1 percent or less than the total number of ballots cast. To do so, a written request must be submitted to the Board of Elections by 5 p.m. on Nov. 14.
From the unofficial vote totals, the Robeson County candidates who fall under that category are challengers Mitch Lowry in Pembroke and John Jackson in Fairmont and incumbent Ray Oxendine in Maxton. They have to wait until Monday to see if they remain in the 1 percent threshold after the canvass that will add provisional ballots to the totals.
“If it is close enough and I do fit with the law, yes I plan to do that,” Lowry said. “My supporters have indicated that I should do that ... I believe in doing things forthright.”
The one candidate eligible for requesting a recount in Fairmont, John Jackson, had six fewer votes than Carol McKenzie, but he doesn't plan on calling for a recount.
“First of all, I would if I didn't think the young lady was qualified,” Jackson said. “ ... She is the first black woman to serve on Fairmont's board ... I will not be asking for a recount ... unless there are some other irregularities elsewhere.”
Oxendine did not return phone calls by the deadline for this story.
Staff writer Mark Locklear contributed to this story.