RALEIGH — After a full day of recounting ballots from the Robeson County precincts that lie in the state’s 7th Congressional District, local elections Director Dock Locklear says the results have not varied much from those on Election Day — but there is still work to do.
“We worked yesterday and we’re working again today,” Locklear said. “We hope to be done by mid-afternoon.”
Locklear said that so far, ballot totals have been pretty much in line with the county’s first report.
“Maybe from one or two from one side to the other, but not any significant changes,” he said.
Only one 7th District county — Cumberland — had provided as of late Monday its recounted totals, which didn’t change from the canvass, according to state elections board totals. The 7th District canvass showed Republican David Rouzer trailing Democratic incumbent Mike McIntyre by 655 votes from nearly 337,000 votes collected in 12 Southeastern counties that in full or part form the district. The margin is within the 1 percent threshold that allowed Rouzer to request a recount.
McIntyre secured Robeson County with a majority vote of a little more than 71 percent — winning by at least 100 votes in the five county precincts that lie in his district and by 629 in one-stop voting. He declared victory on Election Day with a lead of 411 votes.
A few counties in the 7th Congressional District won’t get started until today, meaning the recount for that race may not be finished until Wednesday, state elections Director Gary Bartlett said. Two other races in the state also remain too close to call.
In the coastal state Senate District 1, Democratic state Sen. Stan White of Dare County remained 31 votes behind GOP challenger Bill Cook of Beaufort County after three of the eight counties in the district reported recounted totals. Cook was 32 votes ahead before the recount began from about 87,500 ballots counted. Before the canvass, White had held a narrow lead.
Rouzer and White separately sought recounts last week, as did District Court Judge Quon Bridges, who trailed challenger Amanda Stevenson by 287 votes from more than 56,000 votes collected in Franklin, Granville and Vance counties. None of the counties had reported to the state board early Monday evening.
In recent state history, recounts rarely have flipped the outcome of a race.
After the machine recounts, the trailing candidate in each race can demand that votes be recounted by hand using a sample equal to a small percentage of the precincts in each district. A hand recount would then expand to an entire district if the altered margin could be extrapolated to conclude the second-place candidate could overcome the leader.
The State Board of Elections is scheduled to meet today to certify nearly all winners from the Nov. 6 election, including those from the other 12 congressional districts; the rest of the Legislature; judgeships; the governor and other Council of State members and for president. Races with pending outcomes would be certified later, Bartlett said.