Cooper, McCrory campaigns make case to state elections board - | WBTV Charlotte

Cooper, McCrory campaigns make case to state elections board

RALEIGH, NC (WBTV) -

Attorneys for Pat McCrory and Roy Cooper campaigns are set to lay out arguments in support of their candidates’ positions to the North Carolina State Board of Elections on Tuesday morning.

The arguments will be made by each side as part of a special meeting convened by the board to discuss guidance the board will provide to county boards of elections regarding protests that have been filed.

Republicans connected to the McCrory campaign have filed protests and challenges in 52 of North Carolina’s 100 counties, some of those have already been dismissed by the county boards.

One challenge, regarding absentee ballots in Bladen County, alleges workers paid by a community group funded by the North Carolina Democratic Party improperly filled out “hundreds” of absentee ballots for voters. The state board has agreed to consider that matter while deferring, at least for now, the other challenges to the county boards of elections.

The fight over votes comes as the margin of votes separating Democrat Roy Cooper and Republican Pat McCrory remains too close to declare a definitive winner in the contest. Unofficial vote totals posted on the state board website Tuesday morning show Cooper leads McCrory, the incumbent, by 5,923 votes.

Either candidate can demand a recount if the margin is 10,000 or less after all votes have been counted and certified by county parties.

Cooper’s campaign and the North Carolina Democratic Party claim McCrory has no viable path for overtaking the lead. In that vein, Cooper announced on Monday that he is moving forward with a transition team and preparing to take office as the next governor.

Republicans have said that move is premature and have called on Cooper to wait for all votes to be counted in accordance with state law.

Complicating matters even further is a decision by a federal court judge requiring elections officials to count provisional ballots of voters who did not appear on the registration rolls for the election but who claim to have registered at the North Carolina DMV.

The state board of elections issued additional guidance to counties over the weekend about how and which provisional ballots to count from voters who may have registered at the DMV but did not appear on the voter rolls.

The continued uncertainty means that the governor’s race will not be decided by November 29, when the state board was scheduled to meet and certify election results. Instead, many county boards of elections will just then be meeting to consider provisional ballots and certify their vote counts—the step that must be completed before a candidate can even demand a recount.

The state board of elections meeting is scheduled to start at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday morning. Board officials have allotted thirty minutes to attorneys for both campaigns and then an additional ten minutes for rebuttal. A community group also filed a brief regarding the election and has been allotted twenty minutes to address the board.

Reporter Nick Ochsner is at the meeting in Raleigh. Follow him @NickOchsnerWBTV for updates from the meeting and stay with WBTV.com and WBTV on-air for the latest details.

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