NC governor's race could come down to provisional ballots

Posted November 9, 2016
Updated November 10, 2016

— Although Attorney General Roy Cooper declared victory in the early morning hours over Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, the race remained too close to call Wednesday afternoon.

"We have won this race for governor of North Carolina," Cooper said at a North Carolina Democratic Party gathering in Raleigh. "It has been a long, long journey to get to this point, and I know that people waited in long lines to vote and to allow their voice to be heard. I am humbled by that. Thank you so much."

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Cooper was about 5,000 votes ahead of McCrory out of more than 5 million votes cast, according to unofficial results.

The race could now hinge on a number of provisional ballots, which will not be counted until Nov. 18.

“The votes have been cast in the gubernatorial election, but many have yet to be counted. Currently, there are tens of thousands of outstanding absentee, military and provisional ballots across the state, and claiming an outcome before the process has concluded is irresponsible and disrespectful to the voters of North Carolina whose voices have yet to be heard," McCrory campaign strategist Chris LaCivita said in a statement.

Early Wednesday morning, McCrory said he didn't expect the final results to be known until counties hold their official canvass of votes at the end of next week.

Despite the tight race, a Cooper campaign spokesman said they remain confident.

“Last night, the people of North Carolina chose a new governor with new priorities. With all precincts reporting, we have a strong lead and are confident that, once the results are certified, we will confirm last night’s victory. In the coming weeks, Governor-elect Cooper will be laying out an agenda for moving North Carolina forward," said spokesman Ford Porter.

For statewide contests, the vote difference must be less than 10,000 votes for a candidate to demand a recount after county canvasses statewide. The demand for a recount must be in writing and received by the State Board of Elections no later than noon on Nov. 22.


Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Xander Bogaerts Nov 11, 4:33 p.m.
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    One of the reasons, I believe, that Trump was elected is bc voters are tired of politics as usual, they wanted an outsider who would come in and shake things up. IF that's true (and ironically enough, Trump is currently assembling insiders to fill out positions in his cabinet), the NCGOP controlled house and senate would do well to take heed and not be obstructionist to NC governor Cooper.

  • Teddy Fowler Nov 10, 1:35 p.m.
    user avatar

    Cooper will be just as ineffective as Beverly Perdue was.... all she did was try to veto everything because she literally had no power to do anything else.... Too many Republicans in the House and Senate.... but good luck Mr Cooper...

  • Carol Smith Nov 10, 10:56 a.m.
    user avatar

    i am hoping beyond all hope that cooper is elected.

  • Carol Smith Nov 10, 10:54 a.m.
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Cooper did his job by not supporing bigotry .

  • Deborah Turner Nov 10, 9:16 a.m.
    user avatar

    With all the other GOP victories in N.C. ???Rigged against McCrory from the start....

  • Chris Cole Nov 10, 8:36 a.m.
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    You may want to read the oath for Attorney General and you will finally understand that he did his job correctly.

  • Judy Loftin Nov 10, 4:27 a.m.
    user avatar

    Keep counting. NC loves McCrory!

  • Arinzo Williams Nov 9, 11:39 p.m.
    user avatar

    Wow we are talking about taking money and throwing our State under the bus. How about HB2 for a bus? Jobs lost, revenue from the NBA and ACC.
    No Pat McCriminal has been lining his money with Duke energy money so let's not get it twisted my friend.

  • Jimmy Jones Nov 9, 11:37 p.m.
    user avatar

    Call for an investigation into those "votes" that were "cast" in Durham....me thinks we smells a NAACP rat.....

  • Cameron Horn Nov 9, 10:59 p.m.
    user avatar

    It’s just wrong they only count absentee, military and provisional ballots when it’s this close otherwise they just toss them out

    “Currently, there are tens of thousands of outstanding absentee, military and provisional ballots across the state”

    Story heading left out absentee, Military