Provisional ballots may delay vote tally
By Matt Shaw
Published in News on November 1, 2004 2:00 PM
Election Day is Tuesday, but Wayne County voters may not know for a week who won the closest races.
At the close of one-stop voting Saturday, the Board of Elections had already collected more than 1,000 provisional ballots, around 5 percent of the total early vote.
Poll workers are certain to gather more Tuesday. All 30 county precincts will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. for voting in the national, state and local elections.
The provisional ballots, used when poll workers cannot confirm a voter's registration information, will not be added in the count until the Elections Board's canvass, which isn't scheduled until 11 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12.
"We always say the results on Election Night are unofficial, but this year we really need to stress it," Elections Director Gary Sims said.
At least twice in recent years, provisional ballots have decided N.C. elections, said Gary Bartlett, director of the State Board of Elections. Both involved municipal elections.
Bartlett, of Goldsboro, said that he did not know if other counties are collecting as many provisional ballots as Wayne, which could delay the results in statewide elections.
"That's not something we track until after the election is over," he said. "I just don't have a feel for it."
Election laws allow people to vote, even if poll workers cannot immediately find their registration information. Often, people have moved without notifying the Elections Board. On Election Day, they may have gone to the wrong precinct.
In these cases, voters fill out the provisional ballots, which are then sealed in envelopes. After Tuesday, the elections' staff will open the provisionals and begin researching the people's eligibility to vote.
At the canvass, the Elections Board will then review the research and vote to either allow or disallow the ballots individually.
Some will be discarded, Sims said. "We had people vote provisional who I know are not registered in Wayne County."
But enough could count to affect an election, he said. "There's going to be a lot of upset people Tuesday night if a lot of the races are tight, but the provisional process is not one that should be rushed."
Following is a list of the candidates that will be on Wayne ballots. School board and judicial races are non-partisan. In other races, Democrats are indicated by (D), Republicans by (R) and Libertarians (L). Current officeholders are listed in italics.
Board of Commissioners
District 1: Andy Anderson (R). Airport Road, Pikeville
District 2: J.D. Evans (D), Old Mount Olive Highway, Dudley
District 3: John Bell (D), Stadium Drive, Goldsboro
District 4: Mark Hood (D), Weaver Road, Goldsboro; Efton Sager (R), Southwood Drive, Goldsboro
District 5: Roland "Bud" Gray (D), Mark Edwards Road, LaGrange; Ed Wharton (R), Forest Knolls Road, Goldsboro
District 6: Roger Bedford (R), Ridgecrest Drive, Goldsboro; Monroe "Jack" Best (D), Mill Road, Goldsboro
At-large: Hal Keck (R), Plantation Road, Goldsboro; Atlas Price (D), Main Street, Seven Springs
Board of Education
District 2: Shirley Faison Sims, Yorkshire Court, Dudley
District 3: Thelma Smith, Hamilton Drive, Goldsboro
At-large: Pete Gurley, Birchwood Drive, Mount Olive; Joseph "Joe" Hackett, Renee Drive, Goldsboro
Register of Deeds
Lois J. Mooring (D), N.C. 111, Goldsboro; Chris West (R), Airport Road, Pikeville
5th District: John Kerr (D), Ridgewood Road, Goldsboro; Tony Moore (R), Greenville
12th District: Fred Smith (R), Clayton
10th District: James D. "Lew" Llewellyn (D), Kinston; Stephen LaRoque (R), Kinston
11th District: Louis Pate (R), Meredith Street, Mount Olive
21st District: Larry Bell (D), Clinton
Erskine Bowles (D), Charlotte; Richard Burr (R), Winston-Salem; Tom Bailey (L), Greensboro
1st District: G.K. Butterfield (D), Wilson; Greg Dority (R), Washington
3rd District: Walter B. Jones Jr. (R), Farmville; Roger Eaton (D), Morehead City
Mike Easley (D), Raleigh; Patrick Ballantine (R), Wilmington; Barbara Howe (L)
Beverly Perdue (D), Raleigh; Jim Snyder (R), Lexington, Christopher Cole (L)
June S. Atkinson (D), Raleigh; Bill Fletcher (R), Cary
Roy Cooper (D), Raleigh; Joe Knott (R), Raleigh
Commissioner of Labor
Wayne Goodwin (D), Rockingham; Cherie Berry (R), Newton
Secretary of State
Elaine Marshall (D), Lillington; Jay Rao (R), Charlotte
Ralph Campbell (D), Raleigh; Leslie "Les" Merritt (R), Zebulon
Commissioner of Insurance
Jim Long (D), Raleigh; C. Robert Brawley (R), Mooresville
Commissioner of Agriculture
Britt Cobb (D), Raleigh; Steve Troxler (R), Browns Summit
Richard Moore (D), Raleigh; Edward Meyer (R), Greensboro
Associate Justice, N.C. Supreme Court
Parker seat: Sarah Parker, Charlotte; John Tyson, Fayetteville
Associate Justice, N.C. Supreme Court
Orr seat: Ronnie Ansley, Rachel Lea Hunter, Howard Manning Jr., Betsy McCrodden, Fred Morrison Jr., Paul Newby, Marvin Schiller and James A. Wynn Jr.
Judges, N.C. Court of Appeals
Bryant seat: Wanda Bryant, Raleigh; Alice Stubbs, Raleigh
McGee seat: Linda McGee, Hickory; Bill Parker, Raleigh
Thornburg seat: Barbara Jackson, Raleigh; Alan Thornburg, Asheville
Judges, Judicial District 8
Brantley seat: David Brantley, Goldsboro
Carraway seat: Lonnie Carraway, Walstonburg
Setzer seat: Joseph "Joe" E. Setzer Jr., Goldsboro
Turner seat: Leslie "Les" Turner, Pink Hill
Williams seat: Rose Vaughn Williams, Goldsboro
Soil and Water District
Board of Supervisors
Jesse Jernigan, Ben E. Rollins.
If it passes, Amendment 1 would give local governments the ability to issue self-financing bonds, an economic development tool.
Amendment 2 would allow the General Assembly to place the clear proceeds of civil penalties, civil forfeitures, and civil fines collected by a state agency in a state fund to be used exclusively for maintaining free public schools.
Amendment 3 would set the first term for magistrates as two years and all subsequent terms as four years.
Anyone with questions about elections may call the Elections Board at 731-1411 or go to www.waynegov.com/boe
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