Local News

Instant runoff results not so instant

Posted November 3, 2010 7:11 p.m. EDT

— State elections officials said Wednesday that it will take at least a month to decide a state Court of Appeals race in which an instant runoff was used.

Thirteen candidates ran for Judge James Wynn's vacant seat on the appellate court, and voters were asked to pick their top three choices to avoid a separate runoff election.

Candidates Cressie Thigpen and Doug McCullough collected the most first-place choices on ballots cast Tuesday. They now move to the runoff, where second and third choices for each will be tallied to determine the winner.

The State Board of Elections said it would handle recounts and challenges in other races before taking up the runoff on Nov. 29. Some ballots will need to be hand-sorted to consider the second and third choice selections, which could take several days, officials said.

North Carolina was the only state to use the instant runoff process in a statewide election on Tuesday.