11/01/04 — Provisional ballots may delay vote tally

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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."

Ballot full

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.

Wayne County

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

N.C. Senate

5th District: John Kerr (D), Ridgewood Road, Goldsboro; Tony Moore (R), Greenville

12th District: Fred Smith (R), Clayton

N.C. House

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

U.S. Senate

Erskine Bowles (D), Charlotte; Richard Burr (R), Winston-Salem; Tom Bailey (L), Greensboro

U.S. House

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)

Lt. Governor

Beverly Perdue (D), Raleigh; Jim Snyder (R), Lexington, Christopher Cole (L)

Schools Superintendent

June S. Atkinson (D), Raleigh; Bill Fletcher (R), Cary

Attorney General

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

State Auditor

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

State Treasurer

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.

Constitutional Amendments

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