Durham defends handling of 90K ballots in NC governor’s race

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Durham County’s elections board is defending itself against charges by Gov. Pat McCrory’s campaign of wrongful or illegal conduct in the reporting late on election night of 94,000 votes cast in the heavily Democratic county.

The elections board released a detailed description of what happened after a lawyer for the state Republican Party filed a formal protest accusing the board of “malfeasance” in counting the ballots. Durham election officials say every step in counting the early votes was watched by Republican members of the county board and later by a state elections official.

McCrory’s re-election effort was in the lead for much election night last Tuesday until the 94,000 Durham County votes were reported shortly before midnight. That turned the advantage to Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper.