WHITEVILLE, NC (WWAY) — It looks like the race for Columbus County Sheriff may finally be over.
A recount of vote expanded the margin of victory for Republican challenger Jody Greene.
After election night Greene led incumbent Lewis Hatcher, a Democrat, by 34 votes. Hatcher requested the recount after Monday’s canvass because the race was within a one-percent difference.
A recount that started yesterday morning and ended this afternoon shows Greene with 9,388 votes to Hatcher’s 9,351. The Columbus County Board of Elections voted to certify the 37-vote margin of victory.
As soon as the certification was done, the board began considering protests to the election. Some people have called for a whole new vote after a delay in getting ballots to a polling place on Tabor City on Election Day.
The board dismissed three of the protests then heard testimony on the fourth.
“The first irregularity was, of course, what was already was reported: that voters were turned away because ballots were not available from 6:30 to about 9:00,” witness Marlando Pridgen said. “The second part was that additional people were turned away who actually had verification of registration and were not allowed to cast provisional ballots. Numerous amounts of those.”
Just before 5 p.m. the board denied that protest saying there was not evidence to overturn the election results. Some protestors say they plan to appeal the decision.
Neither Greene nor Hatcher attended today’s recount of protest hearing.