DURHAM, NC- The North Carolina State Board of Elections voted 3-2 along party lines to allow a recount of 94,000 votes in Durham County.
Three Republicans on the board voted for the recount, saying the late addition of the votes is irregular. The two Democrats on the board opposed the recount, arguing there was no evidence of a mistake in counting the votes.
The decision comes hours after numbers showed Roy Cooper's lead over Republican incumbent Pat McCrory jump to 10,257 Wednesday afternoon. Although the Cooper campaign called for concession, McCrory adamantly rejected the call.
McCrory's campaign said it would drop any statewide recount request if the Durham County recount showed no difference from election night.
At least four more counties expect to finish their tallies by the end of the week; McCrory isn't eligible for a statewide recount unless the margin is less than 10,000.
Just before midnight, on election night, the 94,000 ballots were reported in the county, tipping the scale in favor of Cooper. The votes were late because election workers had to manually enter the results because of faulty memory cards.
"We are so grateful for all of you tonight. Because of your hard work, we have won this race for Governor of North Carolina," said Cooper at the time.
When election officials read off the results, representatives from both party sides watch the proceedings. McCrory's campaign, however, questioned the validity of the ballots. The GOP said a recount is fair and would show the voter accuracy.
"So, let me tell you what we're going to do between now and then. We're going to make sure every vote counts in this canvas," McCrory said.
Cooper's campaign sent a statement shortly after the board's decision.
“We are confident that this recount will confirm Roy Cooper's election as Governor of North Carolina. It is wrong that Governor McCrory continues to waste taxpayer money with false accusations and attempts to delay and that the Republican controlled Board of Elections did not follow the law. However, Roy Cooper's lead has grown to over 10,000 votes and after a partial recount of 6 precincts in one county, the outcome of the election will be the same.”
A statement was also released from the McCrory campaign
“We are pleased that the State Board of Elections has recognized the voting irregularities in Durham County and we will respect whatever the results show. We ask that this is done immediately.”
The recount could take 8 hours, so it's possible the race could be settled by the end of the week.
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