Hand-to-eye recount begins this week in Chief Justice race

Chief Justice Paul Newby

RALEIGH – Republican Associate Chief Justice Paul Newby’s win over Democratic incumbent Chief Justice Cheri Beasley will be recounted for a second time this week.

Under a provision in state law, candidates can request a sample hand-to-eye recount within 24 hours after the initial recount. If the results of the sample hand-to-eye recount differ from the previous results within those precincts to the extent that extrapolating the amount of the change to the entire state (based on the proportion of ballots recounted to the total votes cast for that office) would reverse the results, then a statewide hand-to-eye recount of all ballots would be conducted.

“The county boards of elections have worked tirelessly throughout the recount process,” said Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the N.C. State Board of Elections. “We cannot thank them enough for continuing to ensure voters’ voices are heard and that the results are accurate.”

Following an automatic machine recount of the entire state, the final margin of the race differed by just five votes – Newby won with 401 votes following the recount. The margin was 406 votes following the county canvass process.

A Dec. 18 meeting of the State Board of Elections will also hold appeals of protests filed by both campaigns, although Beasley has filed many more protests than Newby.