11/13/12 — Officials prepare for closer look at vote

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Officials prepare for closer look at vote

By Steve Herring
Published in News on November 13, 2012 1:46 PM

Wayne Aycock

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Sandra McCullen

Wayne County Board of Elections officials this morning said they do not expect any surprises this Friday when they canvass last week's historic election that gave Republicans control of the county commission for the first time since Reconstruction.

However, the 587 provisional votes that will be tallied and reviewed could be enough to affect the close margin finish in the at-large seat on the Wayne County Board of Commissioners.

Unofficial totals give Republican Wayne Aycock of Pikeville a 440-vote edge over incumbent Democratic Commissioner Sandra McCullen of Dudley.

Aycock garnered 25,268 votes (50.44 percent) to 24,828 (49.56 percent) for Mrs. McCullen.

The only other local race that was close enough to possibly be affected was the District 2 seat on the Wayne County Board of Education where D.B. Cannon of Dudley has a 330-vote lead over Ven Faulk of Dudley. Cannon had 2,868 votes (52.57 percent) and Faulk had 2,559 (46.90 percent) Write-ins accounted for 29 votes (.053 percent).

The canvass will be held Friday at 11 a.m. at the Board of Elections office, 209 S. William St.

The canvass includes tallying and reviewing write-in and provisional ballots as well as any absentee ballots that arrived after the deadline, said Beverly York, deputy director of the Elections Board.

"The only changes we are expecting are to add the provisional ballots to the total," she said.

Those ballots are not counted on election night and that is why the results are unofficial until the canvass, she said. Also on election night, the write-in votes are tallied and written on the back of the voting printout. As such they have to be counted and reviewed as well, she said.

The Board of Elections will decide whether or not the late absentee ballots are counted.

Once the counting and review are completed, it will be up to the three-member Elections Board to certify the results.

Mrs. York said the elections office already has reconciled the number of voters to the number of ballots cast.

Each precinct receives a specific number of ballots. Along with ensuring that the number of voters and ballots are the same, the precincts also must account for all ballots -- used or not, she said.

"We did not have any major problems (on Election Day)," Mrs. York said. "We had one or two tabulators that experienced jams. Fortunately, our election technician had prepared for the possibility and was able to respond without disrupting the elections. We also have emergency (ballot) bins. So there was no problem getting the results in."

The Seven Springs polling site was the last to get election results in. There was not a problem at the site, but was simply a case of poll workers following procedure to reconcile the ballots, Mrs. York said.

"We want to make sure that each ballot is accounted for," she said.