Commissioner Chad Stewart Increases Lead From 18 To 23 Votes
UPDATE: 12:45pm Friday The Johnston County Board of Elections will hold the recount at 8:30am on Thursday, May 24th at the Board of Elections Satellite Office on S. Third Street in Smithfield. The recount is open to the public.
SMITHFIELD – The Johnston County Board of Elections met Thursday afternoon to certify provisional and absentee ballots cast in the May 8th Republican Primary to determine the winner of the race for Johnston County Commissioner District 3 between incumbent Chad Stewart of Four Oaks and challenger Richard “Dickie” Braswell of Princeton.
About 15 people attended the meeting, including both candidates, at the Board of Elections office on South Third Street in Smithfield.
A total of 142 provisional and 6 absentee ballots were reviewed. 52 of those were disqualified for a number of reasons including the voters were registered in another county, were not registered at all, or submitted an absentee ballot past the deadline.
Of the 96 total ballots allowed, just 41 people cast a vote in the District 3 race. Of the 41 votes, Stewart picked up 23 additional votes and Braswell 18 more.
Stewart’s 18 vote lead from election night increased to a 23 vote lead Thursday with 4,374 votes to 4,351 for Braswell.
North Carolina election law allows for a recount in a county race if the margin of victory is less than one percent.
After the final votes were tabulated, Braswell told WTSB he will call for a recount in the race. Braswell must file a written request for the recount no later than 5:00pm Friday. Braswell indicated he would have the formal request hand delivered Friday morning.
Pending receipt of the official recount request, Board of Elections Director Leigh Anne Price said a recount of all 8,725 ballots cast in the District 3 race would held as soon as possible next week.
“I’ve never gone through anything like this before,” Braswell told WTSB News. “Like I’ve said all along, I am committed to the full and complete process. I feel like I have to do it for all the voters and those who campaigned for me and worked so hard. ”
The winner of the Republican Primary will not have any Democratic opposition in the November general election for the District 3 seat.