Margin cut in appeals court race

The vote margin between two finalists for an N.C. Court of Appeals seat has narrowed, but the candidates must wait a little longer for the outcome from all 100 counties.

State elections director Gary Bartlett said late Friday that election officials in 91 counties had completed counting the second round of instant runoff ballots in the race between Judge Cressie Thigpen and Doug McCullough. The other counties were expected to finish Monday.

Partial results Thursday had shown Thigpen ahead by about 60,000 votes. That number is now less, but Bartlett said the updated totals still needed to be double-checked Monday morning.

A recount is possible if the margin falls below 10,000 votes.

Voters initially ranked up to three candidates among 13 who ran on Election Day.