Raleigh, N.C. — The votes are in, but will they count?
Rather than certify their vote totals from last week's elections, many county elections boards across North Carolina spent the week addressing Republican challenges to absentee and provisional ballots – and in Durham to the manual entry of votes on Election Night because of technical problems with the data cards in several machines. They also had to wait for information from the state Division of Motor Vehicles before counting or disallowing thousands of provisional ballots.
All of this means the State Board of Elections likely won't be able to certify statewide results and declare a winner in the gubernatorial race – and several other statewide and legislative races – the week after Thanksgiving as scheduled. Observers say the fight over the Executive Mansion could drag on for weeks or even months with recounts and appeals.
One race decided last week was Superior Court Judge Mike Morgan's defeat of Associate Justice Bob Edmunds in the lone state Supreme Court race, which tilted the ideological slant on the court to a 4-3 Democratic advantage. Since then, rumors have swirled that the General Assembly plans to use an upcoming special session to address hurricane and wildfire relief money to add two seats to the Supreme Court so Gov. Pat McCrory could appoint two more Republicans to the court. Legislative leaders have denied any effort to do that, however.