Durham County Board of Elections members will meet in an emergency meeting Friday afternoon to discuss whether they will take a position on protests filed by candidates who say the election was tainted by the mishandling of provisional ballots.
The 4 p.m. meeting was called so the board could discuss whether it wanted to make a statement or take a position in advance of the N.C. State Board of Elections’ plans to consider two election protests at 1 p.m. Tuesday, said Bill Brian, chair of the Durham County Board of Elections.
Brian said they decided to hold the meeting Tuesday, but was told by a county official Thursday night that an emergency meeting needed to be called because some procedures weren’t followed.
The Friday meeting will be held at 201 N. Roxboro St.
The State Board of Elections has been investigating the county’s handling of provisional ballots in the primary since early April. A discrepancy, discovered after the local results were certified, suggests staff members counted about 200 provisional ballots twice to match how many eligible provisional ballots its records showed were cast. Provisional ballots are used when there are questions about a voter’s eligibility.
Protests were filed by incumbent Commissioner Michael Page and Elaine Hyman, who placed sixth and seventh, respectively, in the March 15 Democratic primary for the five seats on the Durham County Board of Commissioners.
Hyman’s protest asks that every vote be counted to “give proper credit to candidates.” Page wants a new election held.