Lenoir County completes vote canvass; Cooper still leads by over 10,000 votes

RALEIGH, NC (WITN) - Roy Cooper maintains his lead of more than 10,000 voters as just two counties have yet to finalize their election night results.

Lenoir County canvassed their votes this afternoon, and new figures show the attorney general with 10,256 votes over Gov. Pat McCrory.

Buncombe and Bladen counties still must canvass votes, while the state elections board ordered a recount of some 90,000 votes tabulated in Durham County.

The recount is expected to drag out final results into next week.


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Following a meeting Wednesday afternoon the State Board of Elections ordered a recount of around 94,000 votes in Durham County.

The 3-2 decision along party lines came after the appeal of a Republican attorney who wants more than 90,000 Durham County votes recounted by hand because of alleged irregularities in the election night count.

GOP state board member James Baker said he didn't know if a recount would change the vote totals in Durham but said having one would help allay the public's perception of problems with Durham voting.

The Durham board unanimously rejected the request of Tom Stark two weeks ago, saying there was no evidence the tallies were wrong.

The recount comes as Democrat Roy Cooper has pulled ahead by more than 10,000 votes over Republican Governor Pat McCrory.

McCrory can get a statewide recount if the lead is 10,000 votes or less.

Cooper has declared himself the winner and his campaign says McCrory should concede.

McCrory told The Associated Press on Wednesday in Greenville that he's in what might be the state's closest gubernatorial election ever. He says he's "going to respect the process and respect the results" and expects others to do the same.

“We are pleased that the State Board of Elections has recognized the voting irregularities in Durham County and we will respect whatever the results show,” said Pat McCrory campaign manager Russell Peck. “We ask that this is done immediately.”

The Cooper Campaign released the following statement following the deision, “We are confident that this recount will confirm Roy Cooper's election as Governor of North Carolina. It is wrong that Governor McCrory continues to waste taxpayer money with false accusations and attempts to delay and that the Republican controlled Board of Elections did not follow the law. However, Roy Cooper's lead has grown to over 10,000 votes and after a partial recount of 6 precincts in one county, the outcome of the election will be the same.”

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The recount request by Governor Pat McCrory is in question now that Roy Cooper's lead tops 10,000 votes.

Latest figures from the State Board of Elections show the attorney general with 10,257 votes over the incumbent Republican governor.

State law says a trailing candidate can seek a recount in a statewide race if the difference is 10,000 votes or less. North Carolina law does allow the state board to order recounts on its own.

On election night, Cooper lead by just under 4,800 votes, but his lead has increased as counties canvassed their votes.

Four counties still need to finalize their results, including Craven and Lenoir counties. Craven County is holding a meeting tonight, while Lenoir County's is tomorrow.

Cooper's campaign cited the updated margin in once again calling on McCrory to concede. McCrory said earlier Wednesday he's letting the elections process play itself out.

McCrory asked for a statewide recount last week.


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Republican incumbent Pat McCrory keeps rejecting calls by Democrats to concede in the close race for North Carolina governor even as Roy Cooper's lead in unofficial results has nearly doubled since election night.

McCrory told The Associated Press on Wednesday in Greenville that he's in what might be the state's closest gubernatorial election ever. He says he's "going to respect the process and respect the results" and expects others to do the same.

He says the process could include recounting more than 90,000 Durham County ballots. The State Board of Elections takes up later Wednesday a hand-recount requested by a Republican attorney. The Durham elections board already rejected that request, but McCrory's campaign emailed supporters urging them to contact the board and say they want the recount.

The latest numbers show Cooper leading by 9,800 ballots. McCrory can get a statewide recount if the lead is 10,000 votes or less.