Protest filed in mayor’s race

Published 9:40 am Thursday, November 5, 2009

WINTON – A near 300-vote loss hasn’t deterred one write-in candidate from protesting Tuesday’s election.

Donald Kirkland, who declared himself a write-in candidate for Mayor of Ahoskie, protested the election in a letter submitted to Hertford County Board of Elections Director Sheila Privott Wednesday morning.

“I formaly (sic) am protesting the election results for mayoral candidate of Ahoskie between myself, Donald Kirkland – write-in candidate formal (sic) announced to Hertford County Board of Election the first week in October 2009 per Mrs. Privott, and incumbent Mayor Linda Blackburn,” Kirkland’s letter said. “The people of Ahoskie have come to me and asked for me to recount and protest the results because according to a number of people physically counted going to polls and the results in my estimate do not match up.”

Kirkland’s letter went on to ask for a hand recount of the ballots and that “if the name printed on the ballot has any portion of my name (it) is an intent to vote for Donald Kirkland.”

Privott said she had made Board of Elections Chairman Johnny Sessoms aware of the protest and that the board would consider it as soon as possible.

According to unofficial tallies, incumbent Ahoskie Mayor Linda Blackburn received 352 votes during Tuesday’s voting. There were 82 write-in votes cast during the election, but as of press time Wednesday night it was not determined how many of those votes Kirkland received.