BEAUFORT — The Carteret County Board of Elections will convene twice in the coming days to handle business related to a protest and recount of the race for North Carolina Supreme Court chief justice, including review of nine specific ballots.
Incumbent N.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley has filed election protests in at least a quarter of North Carolina counties, including Carteret. County Board of Elections Director Caitlin Sabadish said the Beasley campaign has challenged nine local ballots the County BOE rejected.
“The protest alleges that there was a defect in the manner by which the votes were counted or the results were tabulated and that there may have been a violation of election law, irregularity or misconduct in the counting or tabulation of votes,” Ms. Sabadish said.
In effect, Chief Justice Beasley is protesting the local board’s decision to reject the ballots.
In addition to the multi-county protests, the campaign has requested a statewide recount of the Nov. 3 race. Currently, Republican Paul Newby leads the extremely tight race by 409 votes.
Carteret County’s election panel will meet at 9 a.m. Friday at its office at 1702 Live Oak St. in Beaufort to conduct the recount.
“We’ll have all the machines up with bipartisan teams putting ballots in the DS200s,” Ms. Sabadish said Wednesday.
The teams will feed all 42,848 ballots cast in Carteret County into the machines over the course of the day.
To connect to the recount meeting virtually, visit carteretcountync.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_YZtIJLMmRzSlpW6TKlTSsA.
Additionally, the board will host an emergency meeting at 2 p.m. Monday to consider the election protest regarding the nine ballots.
The board will consider whether the protest has been “substantially compiled with the form requirement,” according to the notice, and whether the protest “establishes probable cause of an outcome-determinative violation.”
Ms. Sabadish said the board has the option to dismiss the complaint or move the protest to a hearing. If dismissed, the filing party can appeal the decision, she noted.
Up to six members of the public can attend that meeting in person at the BOE’s office in Beaufort, and the public can also connect virtually at carteretcountync.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_zvP5_sxBTwWo-PDv0rl4TQ.
Contact Jackie Starkey at 252-726-7081, ext. 225; email email@example.com; or follow on Twitter @jackieccnt.