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Municipal elections still too close to call in multiple NC races

File photo of a voter exiting the Wayne County Public Library after casting their ballot during early voting in Goldsboro on Friday, October 21, 2022.
Jonathon Gruenke
/
WUNC
File photo of a voter exiting the Wayne County Public Library after casting their ballot during early voting in Goldsboro on Friday, October 21, 2022.

Local election boards across North Carolina are meeting Friday to finalize the results of last week's municipal elections. But several close races could be headed to a recount.

Election officials have been counting absentee and provisional ballots this week. Once that's done, any candidate who's trailing by less than 1% of votes cast is entitled to ask for a recount.

Multiple races are well within that margin. In the Goldsboro mayor's race, City Councilman Charles Gaylor finished just nine votes ahead of former State Rep. Raymond Smith. Smith said he's considering a recount.

"The public must allow the process to culminate before drawing premature conclusions," Smith said in a Facebook post.

Likewise, Gaylor hasn't declared victory yet and said he expects the tallies to change.

"That is completely normal, so don’t be surprised," he told supporters in a Facebook post. "Each and every ballot needs to be counted."

It's a similar story in the Union County town of Monroe, where just one vote separates two candidates for mayor. Bob Yanacsek leads Robert Burns by one vote with 3,500 votes cast to lead the city of 35,000. Yanacsek went ahead and changed his title on Facebook to "Mayor Elect" even though the results aren't final.

Election Day totals even show ties for town board races in the Charlotte suburb of Pineville, the mountain town of Sylva and the town of Winton in Hertford County.

Those races could be decided by a coin toss if the absentee and provisional ballots don't break the tie. It's happened multiple times before, usually in small-town elections.

State law sets a deadline of Monday afternoon to call for a recount.

Colin Campbell covers politics for WUNC as the station's capitol bureau chief.