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Published 2:38 pm Monday, May 26, 2014

GATESVILLE – The final result of one of the closest political races in Gates County history is now official.

This week, the Gates County Board of Elections conducted a full recount of the 1,762 ballots cast in the May Primary for the District 1 Board of Education seat. That race featured political newcomers Daniel L. Dickerson and Cindy Smith Barber, each seeking to gain the seat of retiring School Board chairman Doug Lilley.

After all the ballots were recounted, Dickerson won by a mere eight votes (885-to-877).

A Board of Elections spokesperson said the recount included a check of the voter tabulation machines at each precinct, and a “hand-to-eye” visual check of all ballots cast in this particular race, to include all votes from the two, One-Stop sites in the county as well as those recorded by absentee ballots.

As is the right of a candidate whose margin of defeat is less than one percent, Barber requested a recount.

That request came on the heels of the mandatory canvass of all polling places conducted May 13 by the Gates County Board of Elections. The canvass saw Dickerson expand his lead to nine votes (885-to-876) over the unofficial results (883-to-875) recorded when the polls closed on May 6. The percentage spread between the two candidates was razor close (50.23% 49.72%).

In the recount, Dickerson’s tally remained at 885 while Barber was credited with one additional vote, bringing her total to 877.

On May 22, the Gates County Board of Elections certified the votes in the District 1 Board of Education race, as well as for all the other races on the May 6 ballot.

Other than Dickerson, other local candidates certified as winners from the May Primary were:

Gates District Commissioner Ray Freeman III;

Gatesville District Commissioner Jack Owens;

James (Gary) Ingram, Republican nominee for Sheriff;

Glendale Boone, Board of Education District 3; and

Leslie S. Byrum, Board of Education District 5.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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