Recount request, lawsuit add uncertainty in governor's race

Recount request, lawsuit add uncertainty in governor's race

Javier Howell
November 23, 2016

With canvasses yet to be conducted in several counties and the vote count not official, McCrory's campaign called for a recount in order to meet the mandated deadline.

Republicans connected to the McCrory campaign previously filed protests and challenges in 52 of North Carolina's 100 counties, some of those have already been dismissed by the county boards.

Marc Elias, an attorney representing the Cooper campaign, said McCrory's efforts to cast doubt on the election results won't work.

The conclusion to one of the most bitterly contested governors' races in the country remains in doubt, with Attorney General Roy Cooper, the Democratic nominee, now leading McCroy by about 6,500 votes. "The state has not told me what the final vote count is". So far he's made no real headway, and even the Republican-appointed State Board of Elections has refused to interfere - for now at least - with the finalization of votes in all but one county.

And as the state board of elections looks to answer some of the questions Tuesday, new questions are continuing to be raised.

However he is now making claims of voter fraud in an attempt to undermine the legitimacy of the election - and he could be about to win. Woodhouse also said that "Roy Cooper and his super PACs, Progress NC and Democracy NC, have now shown they care nothing about counting all votes and treating all voters the same". "There is absolutely no evidence of systemic voter fraud".

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"Governor-elect Roy Cooper has won this election, and we're all ready for him to restore the reputation of this great state", said HRC President Chad Griffin. "There's nothing to concede to!" he said.

A lawsuit filed Monday by the conservative-leaning Civitas Institute asks a federal court to require that the state Board of Elections refrain from certifying election results until it has finished verifying same-day registrants.

But Cooper's campaign is declaring victory and moving forward with naming a transition team, with an eye toward a gubernatorial inauguration the first week of January.

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In announcing McCrory's demand for a recount, his campaign manager, Russell Peck, raised the specter of voting irregularities across the state. If all the counties don't report their vote totals by 11 a.m. November 29, the state board could delay its final certification by up to 10 days, or until December 9.

A number of major businesses, entertainers and athletic organizations such as the National Basketball Association and NCAA boycotted North Carolina after McCrory signed the bill, which U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch ultimately deemed in violation federal civil rights legislation. A state law allows the Legislature to determine the victor when a "contest arises out of the general election", Stern writes, and when that contest concerns the "conduct or results of the election".