Coleman Gains Votes In Lt. Governor's Race

Democrat Linda Coleman continues to narrow Republican Dan Forest's advantage in the race for North Carolina lieutenant governor as county officials make final tallies from last week's elections.

The State Board of Elections said two-thirds of the 100 counties had completed their canvass Friday afternoon.

The data shows Forest holding a roughly 9,300-vote advantage over Coleman from more than 4 million ballots cast. Large counties such as Mecklenburg, Guilford and New Hanover had yet to turn in their totals.

Forest held an 11,000-vote edge late on election night. Coleman can get a recount if the margin remains below 10,000 votes.

In the 7th Congressional District, partially canvassed results show Democratic incumbent Mike McIntyre expanding his lead to 517 votes over Republican David Rouzer. It's still small enough for a recount.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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As provisional ballots are being evaluated for approval, North Carolina's lieutenant gubernatorial race is still too close to call.

As of Thursday, democrat Linda Coleman trailed republican Dan Forest by 10,300 votes. Once the approved provisional ballots are tallied, if the margin slims to 10,000 or less, Coleman gets a mandatory recount. Pitt County Board of Elections director Dave Davis says if you vote in the wrong polling place, but still in your registered county, your vote for lieutenant governor will still count. However, if you vote in a different county, it won't.

"Yes, they're registered, but in Wake County or Martin County but they're not registered here in Pitt County. And that's part of the criteria. That's part of being eligible," said Davis.

Davis says a winner can't be made official until the N.C. Board of Elections certifies the totals November 27th.

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Lieutenant governor candidate Linda Coleman says potentially thousands of legally registered voters in North Carolina are poised to not have their ballots counted, but her opponent says she's making the accusation because she is behind.

Coleman's campaign released Wednesday names of more than 500 registered voters in 60-plus counties it says cast provisional ballots. Coleman says the voters' names weren't on local voter rolls but their votes should still count.

Coleman trails Republican Dan Forest by 10,300 votes as outstanding ballots from the election are being counted this week. The margin must reach 10,000 votes for Coleman to obtain a mandatory recount.

State elections director Gary Bartlett says there are often other reasons why provisional ballots aren't counted.

Forest spokesman Hal Weatherman say only "legal votes" should be counted.

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It may be a while before a victory in North Carolina is official.

Just 11,000 votes separate Republican Dan Forest and Democrat Linda Coleman in the lieutenant governor's race. Coleman has yet to concede the race.

In a statement Wednesday afternoon, her campaign says there are more than 50,000 provisional ballots yet to be counted across the state. They say the race is too close to call.

County election workers will count the ballots and then evaluate the validity of provisional ballots on November 15th. Those ballots are cast when precinct workers can't find a person's name on the list of registered voters, or some similar problem.