Polls are closed but the Chatham Board of education race in Dist. 3 between Del Turner and Jessica Winger remains close.
With all precincts reporting Tuesday night, Turner has a 462-vote lead and remains 1.35 points ahead of Winger. The unofficial results have Turner at 16,490 votes (48.46%) and Winger at 16,028 votes (47.11%).
If the narrow margin shrinks further, it may trigger a recount once the results are finalized on Nov. 18. According to N.C. General Statute § 163-182.7, " a candidate shall have the right to demand a recount of the votes if the difference between the votes for that candidate and the votes for a prevailing candidate is not more than one percent (1%) of the total votes cast in the ballot item, or in the case of a multiseat ballot item not more than one percent (1%) of the votes cast for those two candidates."
Winger would have until 5 p.m. on Nov. 21 to ask for a recount if the final results show the margin is within 1%. The News + Record reached out to Winger's campaign to ask if she would consider asking for a recount but has not received direct response.
Thursday morning, Winger released the following statement:
"In such a tight race, I feel duty-bound to make sure every last vote is counted," a statement on her campaign Facebook page said. "Let us be patient as we await the final elections canvas. I believe that as citizens of Chatham, we can expect the American political process to be played out fairly and through a well-established set of rules. Pray for our community and give patience in this democratic process."
The post was accompanied by a copy of the N.C. general statute that outlines rules for a recount.
According to the Chatham County Board of Elections, more than 250 ballots are still outstanding between provisional and absentee ballots.
Chatham Board of Elections Director Pandora Paschal said there are 154 provisional ballots still left to be counted. However, she said "we have not researched those ballots to determine which ones will count and which ones will not count."
Paschal said the board is still receiving absentee ballots and will continue to receive them until Monday, Nov. 14. All absentee ballots are counted as long as they are postmarked by Election Day (Nov. 8). The total number of absentee ballots is still unclear, but "it is a lot," Paschal said.
There will not be a runoff in this race, so whoever gets the most votes once the numbers are finalized will be the winner. The Chatham County Board of Elections will hold its provisional supplemental meeting at 4 p.m. next Thursday, Nov. 17 at the Board of Elections Office (984 Thompson St, Pittsboro). The meeting will be live streamed at meet.goto.com/782476981.