Close call: Recount for statewide instant-runoff, judicial election

Instant runoff voting in the statewide contest for N.C. Court of Appeals has yielded an outcome too close for comfort. Originally in first place by some 100,000 votes, incumbent Judge Cressie Thigpen is now trailing opponent Doug McCullough by some 6,000 votes, and according to today’s report in the News & Observer of Raleigh, Thigpen is asking for a mandatory recount.

A recount may be requested when there is a margin of less than 10,000 votes. According to the news report, Thigpen asked for the recount to ensure proper counting procedures were taken in the second round of IRV voting (for more information, see Xpress‘s Dec. 6 report). Instructions in the first-ever use of second- and third-place picks by voters “may have been confusing to county officials,” according to a Thigpen spokesman.

In Buncombe County, the second- and third-place votes took a full week to tally. The recount is scheduled to take place statewide next week.

Freelance reporter Nelda Holder can be reached at



Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

3 thoughts on “Close call: Recount for statewide instant-runoff, judicial election

  1. John

    Yeah. Not real instant, huh? Number one case against IRV is hand recounts. Works great on the machines – cheaper and faster – as long as there’s no recount!!!

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.