Protest denied

Published 11:24 am Saturday, November 7, 2009

WINTON – An Ahoskie man’s bid to unseat incumbent Mayor Linda L. Blackburn ended in defeat Tuesday.

Thursday, his protest of the election met the same fate.

Donald Kirland, a write-in candidate for the office of mayor, officially protested the reelection of Mayor Blackburn Wednesday morning. That was one day after he received 64 write-in votes for the office. Blackburn was reelected with 352 votes.

He hand-delivered a protest letter to Hertford County Board of Elections Director Sheila Privott.

“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.”

Friday afternoon, Privott said the Hertford County Board of Elections met to consider the protest, but declined to take action because Kirkland did not meet legal requirement to ask for a recount.

According to North Carolina General Statute 163-182.7, “In a ballot item within the jurisdiction of the county board of elections, a candidate shall have the right to demand a recount of the votes if the difference between the votes for that candidate and the votes for a prevailing candidate is not more than one percent (1%) of the total votes cast in the ballot item.”