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Carolina Beach mayoral race could come down to recount

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CAROLINA BEACH -- The official results are in for the New Hanover County elections. The Board of Elections reviewed votes Tuesday and one race was so close, it could come down to a re-count. The canvassing process makes sure no vote is uncounted and no result can be questioned. Board of Elections Chairman Margaret Haynes said, "The Board of Elections and the canvassing process certainly insure that every possible vote is counted and that everything is fair, open and honest." Accuracy is the main goal of the canvassing. Members from the Board of Elections keep a close eye on any questionable results and review any problems with voter registration. Each ballot that was either rejected from polling machines or deemed unclear is considered a provisional vote. Those provisional votes are gathered up, and hand-counted. One of the closest races in this year's election was the one for mayor of Carolina Beach. On election night just three votes separated Alan Gilbert and Joel Macon. But after the board tallied the provisional votes, Macon jumped ahead of Gilbert by ten. "There is less than one percent difference in the votes received for the candidates for mayor of Carolina Beach, so it's up to the losing, the non-prevailing candidate, to decide if they want to have a re-count," Haynes said. With such a low voter turnout, a race like this lets the public know the difference one vote can make. "We only had about 12 percent this time, so it's very low and people shouldn't complain about government unless they want to get up and go out and vote, that's very sad really," Haynes said. Gilbert said he hasn't quite decided if he will ask for a re-count. He has until 5 p.m. Wednesday to submit his request to the Board of Elections.

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