State News

The Latest: N Carolina elections board orders Durham recount

Posted 7:47 p.m. Wednesday
Updated 7:48 p.m. Wednesday

— The Latest on the counting of ballots in the close North Carolina governor's race (all times local):

7:45 p.m.

North Carolina's elections board has ordered Durham County to recount tens of thousands of ballots cast during early voting, reversing the decision of the county board a couple of weeks ago.

The state board's 3-2 decision Wednesday evening after close to three hours of arguments could delay further final results in the governor's race. Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, who trails Democrat Roy Cooper by more than 10,000 votes, supported the recount request filed by a GOP attorney.

The board's three Republican members voted to reverse the Durham board's previous decision to throw out the protest.

Wednesday's hearing focused on alleged irregularities in the election night tallies.

GOP state board member James Baker said he didn't know if a recount would change the vote totals in Durham but said having one would help allay the public's perception of problems with Durham voting.

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3:20 p.m.

Roy Cooper's unofficial lead over North Carolina Republican Gov. Pat McCrory has surpassed a key threshold that would block McCrory's request for a statewide recount if its holds.

The Democratic attorney general was ahead of McCrory by more than 10,250 votes as of Wednesday afternoon. His advantage has doubled since election night and grew Wednesday as Wake and Forsyth counties completed their canvass and other counties updated voting tabulations. Six counties haven't finished their canvass.

McCrory's request for a statewide recount would be granted if the margin is 10,000 votes or less after all 100 counties complete their work. North Carolina law does allow the state board to order recounts on its own.

Cooper's campaign cited the updated margin in once again calling on McCrory to concede. McCrory said earlier Wednesday he's letting the elections process play itself out.

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12:25 p.m.

Republican incumbent Pat McCrory keeps rejecting calls by Democrats to concede in the close race for North Carolina governor even as Roy Cooper's lead in unofficial results has nearly doubled since election night.

McCrory told The Associated Press on Wednesday in Greenville that he's in what might be the state's closest gubernatorial election ever. He says he's "going to respect the process and respect the results" and expects others to do the same.

He says the process could include recounting more than 90,000 Durham County ballots. The State Board of Elections takes up later Wednesday a hand-recount requested by a Republican attorney. The Durham elections board already rejected that request, but McCrory's campaign emailed supporters urging them to contact the board and say they want the recount.

The latest numbers show Cooper leading by 9,800 ballots. McCrory can get a statewide recount if the lead is 10,000 votes or less.

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5:20 a.m.

Possibly one of Republican Pat McCrory's last hopes to catch up to Democrat Roy Cooper in the governor's race is going before the North Carolina State Board of Elections.

The board scheduled Wednesday to hear the appeal of a Republican attorney who wants more than 90,000 Durham County votes recounted by hand because of alleged irregularities in the election night count. The Durham board unanimously rejected the request of Tom Stark two weeks ago, saying there was no evidence the tallies were wrong.

Cooper leads McCrory statewide by 9,800 votes with a handful of counties yet to complete their counting. Cooper has declared himself the winner and his campaign says McCrory should concede. McCrory could still seek a statewide recount if he trails by Cooper by 10,000 votes or less.

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