NC GOP calls recount push a public service

Posted November 29, 2016

— North Carolina Republican Party officials appear to have accepted that Gov. Pat McCrory has lost his re-election bid to Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper, but they said Tuesday they will continue pushing for a recount and hearings on challenges to individual voters out of "a sense of public duty."

Cooper's lead has grown from fewer than 5,000 votes on Election Night to more than 9,800 by Tuesday afternoon, as 92 of the state's 100 counties have certified their vote totals. Wake County is the largest county still outstanding, and the county elections board plans to meet Wednesday to finalize its totals.

The focus remains on Durham County, however, which certified its results last week. A surge of votes from Durham County late on Election Night pushed Cooper into the lead, and the McCrory campaign and GOP leaders have pressed since then for a recount in the county.

"Durham has had numerous problems in the past, had an investigation into its March primary, and I think that the process has to be gone through whether there's a likelihood of changing the outcome or not," state GOP executive director Dallas Woodhouse said.

Protests against individual voters in dozens of counties have pointed out flaws in the system, even if only a handful were actually ineligible to vote, Woodhouse said, adding that a recount in Durham could reveal other problems.

Thomas Stark, a Durham voter who also is a lawyer for the Republican Party, asked the county elections board for a recount, saying manual tabulations of some vote totals because of problems with the data cards on some machines couldn't be trusted. But the Republican-controlled board rejected that request.

State Rep. Grier Martin, D-Wake, said the State Board of Elections, which meets Wednesday to address the Durham situation, should likewise rebuff GOP suggestions of impropriety.

"It undercuts faith in our electoral system because it suggests that there's a concern when there's no evidence of a problem there," Martin said. "By filing all these frivolous, indiscriminate challenges to voters' right to cast a ballot, that is what’s doing the greatest, making the greatest contribution toward undermining public faith in the election."

"They are for counting the votes till they're ahead. Then, they don't want to finish the process of counting the votes," Woodhouse responded.

McCrory is entitled by law to a statewide recount if he's within 10,000 votes of Cooper once all counties have certified their totals. Both he and Republican auditor candidate Chuck Stuber, who trails Democratic State Auditor Beth Wood by about 5,500 votes, have called for recounts already.

But Martin and Spring Lake Mayor Chris Rey said singling out Durham County for a recount is just a stalling tactic, and McCrory should concede.

"If you're going to come, come with some facts. Do what needs to be done so that we can challenge what's really wrong, not what you think is wrong," Rey said. "The citizens of North Carolina deserve that."

"The only indication that there's been any flaws in the gubernatorial election has come from Gov. McCrory and Dallas Woodhouse," Martin said. "We have not heard concerns from outside bipartisan groups that found anything wrong."

Woodhouse denied that he and the McCrory campaign are trying to delay the process.

"They honestly feel a sense of public duty to make sure there is confidence in the outcome," he said. "I do not believe that the only reason to recount or look at things is that the outcome may change."

The State Board of Elections hasn't yet set a date to make the results of the first count in statewide races official.


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

Oldest First
View all
  • Betsy Sparks Dec 2, 10:19 a.m.
    user avatar

    It's not a public service. Republicans won most of the elections. Republicans have a majority on the Board of Elections in Durham County. So why would this one and only race be rigged? Why rig the governor's race when the GA can override a veto? None of it makes sense. A public service would be to accept the results and let the transition take place. Right now, NC Republicans have credibility based on the votes cast.

  • Alfred Barnes Dec 2, 10:14 a.m.
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    It was rhetorical, and it started with GWB haters who couldn't deal with Gore's loss. Clinton's loss is a second slap in the face, similar circumstances, unable to accept reality. Some people never learn.

  • Judy Loftin Dec 1, 4:55 p.m.
    user avatar

    Durham always has something to hide.

  • Judy Loftin Dec 1, 4:54 p.m.
    user avatar

    Keep counting McCrory, and thank you for your service!

  • Raleigh Rose Nov 30, 7:28 a.m.
    user avatar

    Perhaps we should recount all elections going forward to ensure all votes are correct. Then maybe we wouldn't have so many claims of fraud and rigged elections. In my field of work all results are always double-checked by 2 different people, so why should elections be any different?

  • Mare Procellis Nov 30, 2:01 a.m.
    user avatar

    Why is a recount with little hope of changing anything a public service when a republican is behind, but an offensive, whiny waste of money when Clinton's asking for it?
    Because hypocrisy is synonymous with "republican ."

  • Pete Muller Nov 29, 10:05 p.m.
    user avatar

    Mr. Young. Do you have a source for your redistricting claim?

  • Jeff Franklin Nov 29, 9:41 p.m.
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Sure they do

  • Jeff Franklin Nov 29, 9:40 p.m.
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Nope, just you.

    Nothing like the last eight years with the Obama haters

  • Alfred Barnes Nov 29, 9:00 p.m.
    user avatar

    The McCrory haters have really come out of the woodwork. Is it just me, or does there seem to be a lot of hatred originating from "liberals"?