School Board Primary Results Tossed Out

All 8 candidates will advance to November elections

For the first time in Johnston County election history, results from an entire primary race have been disqualified.

The Johnston County Board of Elections met Friday morning to certify the results of the May 8th Primary.  The elections board approved the results of every race except the race for the Johnston County School Board.  The school board primary results were disqualified.

Members of the Johnston County Board of Election meet Thursday, May 17th. Photo

Johnston County Board of Elections Director Leigh Anne Price said the NC Board of Elections sent an email to the county late-Thursday asking them how they had interpreted the statute on how many people needed to be on the ballot in order for a school board primary to be held.

This year 3 school board seats are up for election.

Johnston County has used a formula where double the number of seats (6) plus 2 were needed for a primary to be held when in fact the state statute requires 9 candidates for a primary when 3 seats are up for election.  Johnston County only had 8 candidates and because a primary was never needed, the results were disqualified.

After the May 8th primary, the bottom two vote-getters, incumbent Butler Hall and challenger John Radford both thought they were eliminated from the race.

Price said the votes from the May 8th school primary have been disqualified and all 8 candidates names will appear on the November 6th ballot, including Hall and Radford.

Price said Johnston County sent their ballot to the NC Board of Elections for approval this spring and the state approved the ballot, including the school board primary ballot with the 8 candidates, when it should have technically been 9 candidates.

Price notified all 8 school board candidates of the mix up Friday afternoon.

Price said her office had not received a complaint about the Johnston County School Board Primary, but suspects an issue in another county likely prompted the state board of elections review of all 100 counties.

As a result, all eight Board of Education candidates will proceed to the general election in November 2018.

Combined, the 8 candidates spend tens of thousands of dollars campaigning for the May Primary when they could have saved their money for the November general election if the error had been caught.