Newby retakes lead in NC Supreme Court Chief Justice race as counties finalize vote totals this week

Justice Paul Newby again took the lead in the much-watched North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice race over the weekend, leading Chief Justice Cheri Beasley by 230 votes early Monday.

Beasley, the Democratic incumbent, had a lead of 35 votes late Friday. She and Newby, her Republican challenger, have been swapping the lead in this very close race as mail-in and provisional ballots have continued to be tallied and submitted.

North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley and Justice Paul Newby.

Nine counties still have to meet for their final canvass  or hold re-canvas meetings early this week, correcting discrepancies and finalizing vote totals.

Craven, Duplin, New Hanover, Robeson, Rockingham, Sampson and Washington counties are all meeting early this week.

Robeson County still has about 700 provisional ballots and 30 absentee ballots to add to its totals.

Due to an older tabulation system, Washington County duplicated its absentee by mail data on election night and will need to correct that error, according to the state board of elections.

Two counties — Durham and Stanly — are meeting again this week to e-canvas and make minor modifications.

State board of elections officials stressed that the canvass period following elections exists for just this reason — to make sure any errors are caught, discrepancies corrected and challenges allowed.

“The canvass process exists to ensure votes are counted accurately,” said Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the State Board of Elections, in a statement Sunday. “This is the process working as it is supposed to work. This election will not be certified until we are certain the results are accurate.”

Requests for recounts are due in most single-county elections by 5 p.m. Monday and by noon on Tuesday for statewide and multi-county races. In statewide races the margin must be 10,000 votes or fewer and 1 percent or less of the total votes in single-county races.

The state canvass is scheduled for Nov. 24, after a series of audits.

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