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Final vote tallies complete; Onslow winners unchanged   (NC)
HEATHER GALE    Jacksonville Daily News   13 May 2008

The official results of the primary election are in, and the winners are the same.

Due to a mishap with counting the one-stop votes in Onslow County, there was a chance that the winners in the Republican primary for county commissioner could change, but they did not.

The up-in-the-air Republican race stayed true to its five final candidates who will have their names on the November ballot. They are: Barbara Melton Ikner, Bill Keller, Paul Buchanan, Lionell Midgett  and W. C. Jarman.

On Friday, when 4,000 votes were discovered  missing from the May 6 primary totals, Midgett had gained enough votes to move ahead of Jarman and Buchanan in total votes received. But in Tuesday's canvass, which included counting provisional votes, Midgett ped two votes below Buchanan.

Vote totals in all primaries changed, but none of the other races - including the Democratic primary for commissioners - were significantly affected.

Rose Whitehurst, director of the Onslow County Board of Elections, said no problems arose when counting the provisional ballots.

"Nothing really changed and there were no problems loading the votes," she said. "It just took a while to get all the envelopes open."

Provisional votes are those cast by people who voted in the wrong precinct or whose voting eligibility was otherwise in question.

There were 277 provisional ballots that were counted fully and a few more that were partially counted, Whitehurst said.

"A partial count is when a person votes in a precinct that is not their home precinct, everything will count except the House race," she said. "The house candidate doesn't represent them but still the county and state do."

Last week, the board of elections learned that more than 4,000 ballots in Onslow County had not been counted, after N.C. Rep. Robert Grady filed a complaint with the state Board of Elections.

Grady, winner in the GOP primary in District 15, said he noticed a discrepancy in one-stop votes and could not reach Whitehurst.

"I looked at the votes, and I knew there was a problem," he said. "If you look at certain races, you can see where the problem is ... As an example, for House District 14, (it) showed 84 people casting a one-stop ballot and that is impossibly low."

Whitehurst said that the issue has been dealt with and is no longer an issue.

"I have already spoken to the (N.C. State) Board of Election regarding Friday and they are handling it," she said.

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