11/16/05 — County Election Board certifies results

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County Election Board certifies results

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on November 16, 2005 1:51 PM

The Wayne County Board of Elections certified Hosea Manley as the winner of the District 3 seat on the Mount Olive Town Board, after Manley's opponent withdrew from the race.

Manley and incumbent Paul Smalley tied last week with 84 votes each and Smalley said afterward that he would withdraw rather than see the winner chosen by lot, as state law dictates. At Tuesday's canvass, the board of elections received a letter from Smalley announcing his decision.

But that didn't end the drama at Tuesday's canvass held by the board of elections. Another tie ballot had to be chosen by lot.

Bobby Outlaw was declared the winner of a seat on the Southeastern Wayne Sanitary District Board after his name was drawn from a bucket. Outlaw and Albert Williams, Jr., had tied with 31 votes each.

In elections involving less than 5,000 voters, North Carolina law requires the seat be determined by lot. That can mean tossing a coin, drawing a name from a container or any other method deemed fair.

"We could sit around all day and recount the ballots, but eventually someone has to be picked," Elections Board Supervisor Gary Sims said.

Last week, Sims said he might get a Girl Scout to choose a name if a race remained a tie after the recount. On Tuesday, 4-year-old Kaela Coles had the honor, picking Outlaw's name from the bucket.

The elections board also took steps to settle a dispute in the Seven Springs vote.

In the race for mayor, the unofficial results had Jewel Kilpatrick beating Danny Carter by one ballot, 19-18. The recount held Tuesday took into consideration any absentee or provisional ballots and transfers from one precinct to the other. The final results still left Mrs. Kilpatrick one vote ahead.

On Monday, board members received a complaint about non-residents casting ballots in the race.

Barry Guevremont said in a letter to the elections board that he and his wife saw Thomas Kilpatrick, Mrs. Kilpatrick's son, casting a vote although he does not live in Seven Springs.

But the elections board determined that no votes were cast illegally.

Sims said he talked with poll workers and that election officials had recounted the Seven Springs ballots, matching voters with their home address and checking the addresses on a map to make sure each voter was properly registered. He said there was no evidence to suggest voter misconduct had taken place but that the state Board of Elections would be make aware of the complaint and the action taken regarding it.

Formal protests about any results of the Nov. 8 vote can be still be filed before 6 p.m. Thursday, according to state law. The elections board tentatively scheduled a meeting for 9 a.m. Monday at the county administration building to hear and try to resolve any complaints.