RALEIGH, N.C. — The North Carolina State Board of Elections announced Tuesday there will be a statewide recount of more than 5 million ballots in the race for the state's Supreme Court justice between Democrat Cheri Beasley and Republican challenger Paul Newby.
As of Tuesday, Nov. 17, Newby has an advantage of 2,695,902 to Beasley's 2,695,536.
According to the State Board of Elections, Beasley trails Newby by fewer than 400 votes after the state's ballot canvassing period. The recount, which will likely take several days in some counties, is the first statewide recount since the 2016 state auditor's race, which confirmed the results of that election. County election boards have until Wednesday, Nov. 25 to complete their recounts.
Beasley requested the recount in a letter to the state on Tuesday. North Carolina law states any statewide election decided by 10,000 or less votes qualifies for a recount from the trailing candidate.
"We cannot express enough gratitude for the hard work of our county boards of elections, who continue to ensure accurate and fair results in this election," said Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the State Board of Elections. "Recounts are an important part of the elections process that help guarantee voters' wishes are realized in the closest of contests."
All 100 counties in North Carolina will complete the recount by sending all of their ballots through tabulators. The counties are responsible for recount costs. Any counties that have recounts for local races may conduct them at the same time, according to the state.
Recounts are open to the general public, but they're subject to space limitations and social distancing requirements due to the COVID-19 pandemic.