AC-T: Recount looms in Buncombe County

Here’s an excerpt from the Nov. 8 story in the Asheville Citizen-Times:

A recount is all but certain in a Buncombe County Board of Commissioners’ race, and a handful of Warren Wilson College residents potentially hold sway over the balance of power on the board.

The issue means it could be at least two weeks before the result of Tuesday’s vote, which gave Republicans a 4-3 majority on the next board, is either confirmed or overturned.

Complete but unofficial returns gave two Republicans a narrow victory in District 2, but the results were so close that election officials would automatically grant a recount if requested by the two losing candidates. …

The Warren Wilson votes are important because of a voter registration mistake that forced elections officials to issue 145 campus residents provisional ballots between Nov. 1 and the end of early voting on Saturday and call for another 54 “revotes” for those who had voted before the mistake was discovered. …

The 199 uncounted ballots could have the biggest impact in the District 2 commissioners contest between second-place finisher Republican Christina Merrill and third-place Democrat Ellen Frost, where the spread is just 87 votes.

Republican Mike Fryar was the leading vote-getter, but his unofficial total of 19,904 votes Tuesday was only 203 votes greater than fourth-place finisher Carol Peterson, a Democratic incumbent.

Combined with Republican wins in District 3, the seven-member Board of Commissioners would have a GOP majority if Tuesday’s results hold up.

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