McCrory Now Trails Cooper Beyond Recount Threshold

Dec 1, 2016

It's looking more likely that Democrat Roy Cooper will become North Carolina's governor. By state law, Republican Governor Pat McCrory has the right to demand a statewide recount, if the margin is less than 10,000 votes. He got ahead of the game and made that demand last week before counties had finalized all votes. But as the tally stands now, McCrory doesn't have that right. The margin has expanded to 10,256 with results from nearly all counties official.

Republican Governor Pat McCrory on left; Democrat Roy Cooper on right.
Credit NC.gov

The state board of elections did grant McCrory's campaign a recount of about 94,000 votes in Durham County this week. Memory cards failed at five early voting sites and one precinct on Election Day. Election officials ended up calculating the numbers from paper tapes the machines created and manually entering those with observers from both parties watching.

The Durham County Board of Elections unanimously voted to dismiss the original request for a recount of these votes on the grounds that it lacked "substantial evidence to support it." Durham County, like all election boards in North Carolina, is controlled by Republicans. Those who supported the recount on the state board of elections said there's no harm checking these votes, but didn't expect the tally to change much. 

McCrory's campaign manager Russell Peck said they're pleased with the state board's decision, and that they'll respect whatever the results show. Then again, if that vote tally remains over 10,000, McCrory won't have a choice.