A series of decisions Friday by local elections boards dealt a setback to Republican Gov. Pat McCrory’s hopes of challenging results that have left him trailing in his bid for re-election. Now his campaign is putting its hopes in the N.C. State Board of Elections. Protests have been filed questioning alleged irregularities in 52 of the state’s 100 counties. The first county elections boards that began deliberating those protests on Friday overwhelmingly rejected them. McCrory’s campaign on Friday evening asked the state board to take the protests out of the hands of county boards and decide the issues itself, in order to ensure consistent decisions and a quicker resolution. The state board has not yet responded. Both state and county elections boards are controlled by Republicans.
The most votes were at stake in Durham County, whose election board on Friday denied a protest by Thomas Stark, the N.C. Republican Party’s general counsel, calling for a hand count of paper ballots. “We are going to file an appeal,” Stark said Friday afternoon.
About 94,000 Durham County votes came in late on election night after local officials had to manually enter vote tallies from five early voting locations and one Election Day precinct.
Stark, who said he filed the protest as a county resident, contends the Durham County Board of Elections engaged in “malfeasance” with regard to ensuring the accuracy of votes counted election night. Durham County officials have defended their work, which involved entering information from ballot tabulators’ paper tapes after they were unable to read data from six memory cards that also came from the tabulators.