By Jesse Wood
The Watauga County Board of Elections are meeting Wednesday to hold a recount of ballots cast in the N.C. Auditor’s race during the general election on Nov. 8.
Republican candidate Chuck Stuber is running against incumbent N.C. Auditor Beth Wood, a Democrat. Unofficial results on election night showed Wood had 2,259,397 votes (or 50.07 percent) versus Stuber’s 2,253,405 votes (or 49.93 percent).
On behalf of Stuber, the N.C. GOP delivered a formal recount request to the State Board of Elections on Tuesday morning. In a statement, Stuber said:
“During the recent election for the state auditor position, I received over 2.2 million votes and I’m in a virtual dead heat with my opponent, the two-term incumbent. On behalf of the voters in our great state, I am exercising my right to ask for a recount. I am doing this to honor all the citizens of North Carolina who voted in this race, and those who supported and encouraged me throughout my campaign. As someone who is running for state auditor, I believe it is imperative to ensure absolute accuracy– whether with votes in an election, or with statistical data in an audit of an entity receiving government funds. I have confidence that the North Carolina State Board of Elections will coordinate the vote recount in a fair and efficient manner.”
The N.C. Democratic Party responded that a recount is unlucky to change and pointed to a statewide recount in a N.C. Supreme Court race in 2014 that resulted in a change in results of 17 votes.
“With Beth Wood ahead of Chuck Stuber by close to 6,000 votes, a statewide recount is unlikely to change the results of the election. We are confident that Beth won the race, and it’s time for Chuck to concede. Instead of adding more uncertainty for North Carolina voters and charging taxpayers at least $1.5 million, Stuber should accept the will of the people and drop his recount request,” said Kimberly Reynolds, NCDP Executive Director.
N.C. General Statues allows for statewide recounts on a ballot item if the difference is one-half of one percent (0.5 percent) of the votes cast in the ballot item, or 10,000 votes, whichever is less.
Staff at the Watauga County Board of Elections office said the recount will last all day long.