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 firstname.lastname@example.org.