07/28/04 — Election canvass changes vote totals but not outcome

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Election canvass changes vote totals but not outcome

By Matt Shaw
Published in News on July 28, 2004 2:02 PM

The Wayne County Board of Elections' canvass changed some vote totals, but there were no changes in the winners of last week's elections.

The Elections Board took four hours Tuesday to certify the results of the July 20 primaries. It took that long to review 186 provisional ballots one by one and decide if they should be added.

Ultimately, 162 people were found to be fully qualified to vote and their ballots were counted in full. Another 15 people were qualified to have voted in at least some of the races on their ballots. Only nine ballots were not counted at all.

The new provisional ballot process worked well, Elections Director Gary Sims said this morning.

People whose registration information was incorrect or outdated were able to vote on Election Day without having to go to another precinct. County staff then had a week to research their situations.

"It was a lot of homework for us, but it eliminated a lot of the hassle for the precinct judges," Sims said.

The additional votes barely affected the results in the only Wayne County race. Lois Mooring was the Democratic nominee for register of deeds with 2,574 votes, or 55 percent, compared to 2,131 for John Chance. The margin of 443 votes was one less than the unofficial total released last week.

In the Republican primary in the N.C. House's District 10, Willie Ray Starling of Mount Olive picked up five additional votes in Wayne County while N.C. Rep. Stephen LaRoque only added one.

In the special election for U.S. House's 1st District, the Wayne County totals were G.K. Butterfield 2,241, Greg Dority 1,333 and Tom Eisenmenger 49.

Bill Cobey finished atop the local Republican primary for governor with 1,211. Patrick Ballantine, who will be the nominee, finished with 722 votes, followed by Richard Vinroot with 566; Dan Barrett, 247; Fern Shubert, 65 and George Little, 47.