NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) – The race for chief justice of the state Supreme Court is still in question, with 404 votes separating the two candidates.
Republican Paul Newby and Democrat Cheri Beasley are filing protests over the handling of votes across North Carolina, including in Craven County. On Friday, Craven County’s elections board dismissed a protest from incumbent Beasley.
Beasley trails Newby by only a few hundred votes out of more than five million ballots.
Beasley’s campaign on Friday challenged 16 ballots in Craven County. The protest asked board members to consider and review the names and documentation on those 16 ballots.
The county’s elections director said the ballots in question were not included in the original count for various reasons. Some were not registered in Craven County before October 9. Some of the ballots were not returned to election officials on time.
In a unanimous vote, election board members did not find probable cause to carry out Beasley’s request.
“Based on the documents provided, the proof of burden, we did not feel it was there so it was dismissed, probable cause was not found for us to not have counted votes correctly,” said Craven County Elections Director Meloni Wray.
Craven County’s elections board will send a written order on its decision to Beasley’s campaign. Beasley is also seeking a statewide recount.
Craven County will do a recount on just the race for Supreme Court chief justice on November 24.