State Elections Board admits mistake in school board race

The North Carolina Board of Elections admitted it make a mistake regarding the Johnston County school board primary elections and apologized to the candidates.

On Friday, May 18, the Johnston County Board of Elections, based on an e-mail received from the state, nullified the May 8 school board election results. There are three seats up for election. The number of eligible candidates are determined by a formula, 3 x 2 + 3, which means a minimum of nine candidates was required for the primary. There were only eight candidates on the May 8 ballot.

The following is a statement from Patrick Gannon, public information officer, North Carolina Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement which was released Monday afternoon, May 21:

“The Johnston County Board of Elections interpreted Session Law 1997-32 and concluded that a primary was necessary for the Board of Education.

“The State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement proofs ballots for spelling and candidate order, but we were not aware of this local rule until after the election.

“It was discovered by a State Board staffer who was researching a local rule in another county. We immediately notified the Johnston County elections director and county attorney.

“This situation has highlighted an issue that the State Board expects to address during the ongoing modernization of the statewide elections management system, or SEIMS.

“We regret any inconvenience to the candidates. They will all be on the ballot in November.”

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