Wacky NC election politics – 24,000 to go back to the polls
It’s been a wild ride in Election 2004 here in NC, with votes lost, found and all kinds of monkey business. The latest news is that in Carteret County, 24,000 voters will have a second chance to vote for agriculture chief. (News and Observer):
State elections officials, struggling to wrap up the agriculture commissioner’s race, decided Tuesday that about 24,000 people in Carteret County should have another election day.
Steve Troxler, right, candidate for agriculture chief, and his lawyer, Marshall Hurley, confer. Photo: Ethan Hyman
…The candidates for the agriculture job didn’t know what to say about the surprise decision in their contest, which was thrown into turmoil when 4,400 ballots were lost by a voting machine in Carteret County. Republican challenger Steve Troxler has a 2,300-vote lead over incumbent Democrat Britt Cobb in the statewide tally.
The elections board voted 4-1 to allow the people in Carteret County whose ballots were lost, as well as registered voters in the county who didn’t vote in the general election, another chance to vote. That adds up to nearly 24,000 voters, state elections director Gary Bartlett said.
The special election was scheduled for Jan. 11. The votes will be added to the current statewide totals.
“It’s a little bit bizarre, to tell you the truth,” Troxler said.
Troxler had suggested that the 4,400 voters whose ballots were lost be asked to vote again. He wanted to talk to his lawyer before saying whether he would challenge the board’s decision to also give another chance to those Carteret voters who didn’t vote.
Cobb’s attorney, John Wallace, argued that the law required another statewide election. Any legal challenge of the board’s decision would be up to Cobb, he said. Cobb did not attend the hearing, and a spokesman said later that he was not ready to talk.
A thorough investigation of all the election voting shenanigans is over at The Brad Blog. Brad’s been working overtime to bring all the voter suppression, e-vote “disappearances” and mistabulation all over the country. Highly recommended. Here are a few headlines: