05/14/08 — Primary canvass finalizes winners

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Primary canvass finalizes winners

By Steve Herring
Published in News on May 14, 2008 2:12 PM

Tuesday's canvass of last week's primary votes in Wayne and Duplin counties did not reveal any surprises or changes in how candidates finished in their respective races. Provisional ballots were the main focus of the canvass in both counties.

However, Duplin County Democrats will be going back to the polls on June 24 for a runoff election between Jimmy Dixon of Mount Olive and Frances Parks of Calypso for the nomination for the District I seat on the board of commissioners.

Dixon asked for the runoff Tuesday after Mrs. Parks failed to garner the needed 40 percent to seal the win.

Mrs. Parks picked up eight more votes during the canvass to increase her total from 767 to 775 votes, while Dixon added four to go from 724 to 728 votes.

"We didn't have any real big changes -- there's not a lot of change when there are just 102 provisional votes," said Vickie Reed, director of the Wayne County Board of Elections.

She said that the provisional votes were "pretty much well spread out" among all of the candidates. Most of the provisional ballots involved the nonpartisan races such as court of appeals and the Eight Judicial District.

On the national level, Barack Obama picked up 84 more votes, while Hillary Rodham Clinton added 19.

In the North Carolina Democratic primary for Senate District 5, Snow Hill Mayor Don Davis received an additional 31 votes and retired Wayne Community College president Dr. Ed Wilson of Goldsboro received eight. District 5 includes a portion of Wayne and all of Pitt and Greene counties.

Davis led the field of six candidates across the district with 10,222 votes (35.83 percent). Kathy Taft was second with 6,858 votes (24.04 percent) and Wilson was third with 3,874 (13.58 percent). Ms. Wilson could call for a runoff. The deadline for doing so is noon on Thursday.

Ms. Reed said she believes the reason the county had so few provisional ballots was because of the state law allowing same-day registration during one-stop voting.

"Most of the provisional ballots were geared towards people wanting to change parties, who were in the wrong precinct or who had not registered at all," she said.

Ms. Reed said she thought the reason the state had started the same-day registration was because most provisional ballots normally involve persons who have not registered.

However, this time around most of Wayne County's provisional ballots involved voters who wanted to change their party affiliation. Registering to vote was the least common reason, Ms. Reed said.

Duplin County had 104 provisional ballots.

Suzanne Southerland, director of the Duplin County Board of Elections, said the number of provision ballots was too small to create much of an impact on the election results.