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Macon County prepares for Primary Election Canvass and Sheriff race recount

On Thursday, May 19, 2022, the Board of Elections office received an official “Notice of Recount

Request” from Sheriff candidate Dereck E. Jones of the 2022 Primary Election ballots. A recount cannot be performed until after the Canvass of an election, due to the candidates having until 5:00 pm on the next business day after a canvass to request a recount.

Results on election night are unofficial. Canvass is the official process of determining whether the votes have been counted and tabulated correctly, resulting in the authentication of the official election results. 

 The Canvass of an election is held 10 days after an Election per general statute. Macon County will hold its Canvass in the Board of Elections office boardroom at 11:00 am on Friday, May 27, 2022.

For close elections, the canvass period is especially important.  During this time, elections officials count absentee ballots that came in before the deadline and research provisional ballots to determine whether they should be counted.

In every county, the canvass meeting when the results are certified is 10 days after Election Day. Because elections thrive on transparency, the canvass meeting is open to the public. Unless the county board unanimously votes for another site, the meeting will be held at the county board of elections office, per N.C.G.S. § 163-182.5.

Before the canvass meeting, the board must ensure that the sample hand-to-eye audit count and any discretionary or mandatory recounts have been completed.

Additionally, county boards confirm all eligible ballots have been counted, including:

Ballots that were unable to be read in the precinct (ballot jams, torn ballots, etc.)

Absentee ballots

Provisional ballots

At the meeting, the board will prepare and sign all relevant, permanent public documents. The county board will retain one copy; a copy will be filed with either the clerk of Superior Court or, in the case of municipal elections, with the municipal clerk; and a copy will be provided to the State Board of Elections.

Following the May 27 canvass of votes in Macon County, the Board of Elections will perform a recount on Thursday, June 2, 2022 at 9:00 am. The recount will be held at the Macon County Community Building (1288 Georgia Road) in the gymnasium. All ballots cast in the 2022 Primary will be recounted.

When a candidate wins by less than a 1 percent margin the second vote-getter can request a recount, according to NC election law.

Small variances are expected between the canvassed results and the recount results. In a 2016 statewide recount in the state auditor’s race, Chuck Stuber trailed Beth Wood by about 6,000 votes before the recount. After the recount, Wood won by about 6,050 votes out of more than 4.5 million cast in that election.

Counties bear the cost of a recount in state elections. Pursuant to state law, the county boards of elections across North Carolina pay the bills for the recount in a state order recount and those costs will vary by the county’s size and the number of ballots to be recounted. However, neither the General Statutes nor the Administrative Code describe costs for the recount or establish which party is responsible for covering the costs during a candidate-inited recount. 

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