Local News

Provisional Ballots Could Change Some Election Results

Posted November 7, 1996 12:00 a.m. EST

— They're called provisional ballots and they can't be counted until registration is verified.

In three local counties, the provisional ballots could be a factor in deciding the outcome of a State House race. With Republicans holding on to a slim majority in the North Carolina house, those outstanding votes could tip the legislature's balance of power.

In House District 19, for instance, Republican Bobby Hall leads Democrat Leslie cox by only 97 votes, but election workers are still counting provisional ballots. George Whitaker of the Lee County Board of Elections says legitimate voters are understandably upset.

Election officials say most of these questionable ballots come from new voters who registered at the DMV through the Motor Voter law. The names simply didn't show up on County records soon enough.

District 19's provisional ballots span three counties. There are 123 in Harnett, 153 in Lee and less than 10 in Sampson.

Together, according to Cox, they will decide the outcome.

Hall is confident the outcome will turn out to be in his favor.

All three counties' boards of election hope to have results by early Friday afternoon.