New Hanover canvasses all but two statewide races, prepares for protest hearing

Updated: Nov. 13, 2020 at 1:25 PM EST
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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - The New Hanover County Board of Elections voted unanimously to finalize the local results of the 2020 General Election — but not in two major statewide races.

The board did not canvass the results of the race for North Carolina Attorney General and Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court.

Both races have razor-thin margins, with the Chief Justice race within less than 400 hundred votes as of 5:15 p.m. Friday.

In those races, the campaign for Justice Paul Newby, who challenged incumbent Cherie Beasley, filed a protest late Thursday night in New Hanover County.

The board opted to hold off on holding a preliminary hearing in the protest until 1 p.m. Monday, in order to have someone from the County Attorney’s office present, and to give Newby’s campaign adequate notice.

Executive Director Rae Hunter Havens said the board was instructed by the state board to hold off on canvassing the results until the protests are resolved.

Newby’s protest claims certain absentee by mail ballots should not be counted, as they don’t meet the statutory requirements, but a response from Democrats claims the protest fails to establish probable cause.

Otherwise, the results of New Hanover County’s 2020 election been finalized, subject to any potential challenges.

Candidates have until 5 p.m. Tuesday to file a protest in any race, and until Monday at 5 p.m. to request a recount if the race is within 1 percent.

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