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Election protest filed

AHOSKIE – Despite the unofficial numbers from Tuesday’s election showing a wide margin of victory for incumbent Ahoskie Councilman Maurice Vann, his challenger in that race has lodged a protest.

Donald Kirkland

Donald Kirkland

On Thursday of last week, Donald Kirkland visited the Hertford County Board of Elections office in Winton where he filled out the paperwork to challenge the outcome of his Town Council Ward B race vs. Vann.

Kirkland told the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald that he was challenging Vann’s residency in Ward B. Hertford County Elections Director Shelia Privott confirmed on Thursday of this week that Kirkland had filed an election protest and that it was based on Kirkland’s claim that Vann resided in Ward A, not Ward B.

According to records on file with the Hertford County Board of Elections, Vann listed his residence at 222 Malibu Drive, which is entirely in Ward B, and a mailing address at 317 North Maple Street. Eight blocks of Maple Street (north of Memorial Drive to Richard Street) are in Ward A. The seven blocks of Maple Street, north of Richard Street, are in Ward B.

However, Kirkland, in his protest paperwork, claimed that Vann resides on Richard Street. Ten blocks of Richard Street (east of Ruth Street) are in Ward A. Only two blocks of Richard Street are in Ward B (the area between Catherine Street and Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd.).

Privott said the Hertford County Board of Elections has granted Kirkland a hearing regarding his protest. That hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 9 in the Multi-Purpose Room located on the second floor of the new Hertford County Courthouse.

Maurice Vann

Maurice Vann

The Board of Elections is scheduled to conduct its required canvass of all municipal polling places in Hertford County on Tuesday, Nov. 10. That effort, along with the decision reached by the Board following Monday night’s hearing, will lead the Board to declare all races official.

The unofficial numbers from the Nov. 3 municipal election showed Vann with 236 votes compared to 30 for Kirkland.

In other news following Tuesday’s election, the fifth and final seat available on the Winton Town Council ended with a tie between two incumbents – father and son, Wesley and Will Liverman, both with 69 votes unofficially.

Privott said that if the stalemate still exists following next Tuesday’s canvass, the tie will be broken by the two men agreeing to either draw straws or flip a coin.

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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