11/18/07 — No official winner yet in District 1 race

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No official winner yet in District 1 race

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on November 18, 2007 2:13 AM

Until there is an official winner in the Goldsboro City Council District 1 race, Councilman Jimmy Bryan will stay at the council table.

The Wayne County Board of Elections will hold a recount of the votes in the race between Michael Headen and Frankie Anna Lewis Monday at 5 p.m. during the group's scheduled board meeting.

On election night, Headen was declared the presumed winner -- by a margin of two votes -- by unofficial vote counts.

Last Tuesday, the board canvassed the votes, and the tallies did not change.

So Headen was declared the winner.

Soon after that declaration, Ms. Lewis requested a recount of the votes.

The first step in the recount process will be a machine recount that includes one-stop voting and absentee ballots.

Then, if the tally stays the same, Ms. Lewis can request a hand-eye recount.

If the recount overturns the voting total, Headen can request a hand-eye recount.

After the original recount Monday night, candidates have 24 hours to move forward with the hand-eye recounts, Wayne County Board of Elections Interim Director Erin Burridge said.

So, the final winner might not be announced until Tuesday or later, she added. That would mean there is no official winner to take his or her seat at Monday night's meeting.

"We just have to see how the process goes," she said.

Even if the county board of elections completes the recount, and no one asks for a hand-eye recount, City Manager Joe Huffman said the council can't swear in the new District 1 representative until the Board of Elections certifies either candidate as the winner.

At this point, Huffman added, Bryan will remain in his seat for at least one more meeting.

"We expect to swear in the new District 1 candidate during the first meeting in December," he said.

The council will, however, swear the rest of the council in at Monday's meeting.

Al King will be sworn in as the mayor, and Bob Waller, Don Chatman, the Rev. Charles Williams, Chuck Allen and Jackie Warrick will be sworn in to the same seats they have filled for the past few years.