Pilot Light: Elections Board Hears Challenges
The Moore County Board of Elections is a holding a hearing this morning on 12 ballots challenged because of address issues on same-day registration and voting.
After the 9 a.m. hearing at the historic courthouse in downtown Carthage, the board will return to the elections office at 11 to conduct the official canvass of the Nov. 4 general election.
The flurry of excitement over the historic election may have died down, but the county election staff has followed a crowded schedule this week. On Monday the mandatory audit of two precincts was held at the elections office. The manual count, known as "hand to eye," was carried out for the DHR and Taylortown precincts and was completed within about 30 minutes, according to Glenda Clendenin, director of elections. No changes were noted as a result of the audit.
The audit, or manual vote count, is a requirement of legislation passed two years ago when all counties were ordered to replace vote counting equipment with equipment using a paper ballot back-up. The State Board of Elections selects the precincts to be counted manually after each election.
On Thursday afternoon the board determined the validity of about 429 provisional ballots and supervised the counting of those ballots. Results of the ballots found to be valid will be added to the county totals in time for the canvass today.
FRAUD? -- Clendenin said fraud is not suspected in most of the challenged ballots being heard this morning. She thinks most are cases of confusion or misunderstanding.
However, a couple do appear to be suspicious, and subpoenas have been issued.
At first, there were 14 challenged ballots, but the issues surrounding two ballots have since been cleared up.
Clendenin said she is working with everyone involved in the challenges in the hope that the issues can be resolved.
"We don't want to deprive anyone of the right to vote, but it is very important that we not have a tainted election," Clendenin said.
The Board of Elections is operating without the presence of the chairwoman, Mary M. Pope, who was hospitalized with pneumonia over the weekend. She has been discharged from the hospital and is recovering comfortably at her home.
Clendenin said the remaining two board members, Republican Susan T. Adams and Democrat Ansol Graham, are able to handle the board's business. Clendenin said that the challengers will have the benefit of attention from representatives of both political parties at the hearing.
The challenged ballots were all marked by individuals who registered on the same day they voted during the early voting period prior to Election Day.
EAST MOORE -- Congressman Howard Coble will speak today at the 1 p.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony for the second phase of the East Moore Water District.
The ceremony will be held at the pump station at 2985 Union Church Road.
Also taking part will be members of the Moore County Board of Commissioners and representatives of the East Moore Water District board and the Rural Development arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
COBLE -- Earlier today, Coble attended the ribbon cutting and grand opening for a Farm Bureau office in Archdale.
Coble was the speaker Thursday for the Order of the Blue and White at Catawba College in Salisbury and also attended a dinner at Forest Oaks Country Club in Greensboro.
The 6th District congressman will attend services at his church Sunday and will meet with constituents with appointments in his Greensboro office Monday morning.
Contact Florence Gilkeson at 947-4962 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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