Gatling wins in landslide
WINTON – The preliminary election results are in for Hertford County as well as most of the rest of the country.
In the county’s only local contested race, incumbent Ronald J. Gatling received 7,049 total votes for the Hertford County Board of Commissioner’s (District 2) seat, compared to 779 that went to write-in candidate(s).
According to Sheila Privott, Hertford’s Board of Elections Director, it is unknown at this time how many of the write-in votes went to any candidate. Donald Kirkland ran a campaign for the District 2 seat as a write-in candidate.
Privott stated, “I can’t say if all of the votes were for Kirkland because we are still going through all the write-in ballots to tally them up.”
Since this election was a Presidential one, the period until results become official is 10 days, so more will be known at that time.
John D. Horton ran uncontested for the Board of Commissioners (District 1) seat, receiving 7,489 votes. For the District 3 Commissioner’s seat, William (Bill) Mitchell, Jr. was also uncontested, getting 7,784 votes.
Hertford County Register of Deeds was another uncontested race, with 8,218 votes going to incumbent Melanie Storey.
Two seats were up for grabs for the county’s Board of Education. Incumbents David L. Shields (receiving 6,661 votes) and J. Wendell Hall (6,320) were unopposed.
Pate Pierce was again elected as a Soil and Water Conservation Supervisor, with 7,378 votes going to him and 65 to as-yet unknown write-in candidate(s).
In federal and state elections, Hillary Clinton carried Hertford County with 6,886 votes, 3,081 going to Donald Trump, 133 for Gary Johnson and 44 to miscellaneous write-in candidates. Trump carried both the state and the nation overall, however.
For the U.S. Senate seat, Deborah Ross carried the most votes with 6,690 and incumbent Richard Burr earning 3,100. Burr won the state race overall.
In the North Carolina Governor’s race, Roy Cooper earned the most votes in Hertford, getting 6,658 votes. Incumbent Pat McCrory eanred 3,225 votes in the county while Libertarian candidate Lon Cecil was named on 77 ballots.
For Lieutenant Governor, Linda Coleman carried Hertford County with 6,699 votes and 2,953 were awarded to Dan Forest. Jacki Cole received 122 votes from Hertford.
The Roanoke-Chowan News Herald received a complaint that in at least one precinct there may have been a voting irregularity, but upon investigation by this publication, the irregularity was not valid, according to Privott.
“From what I am aware of, we received a call because a voter received what we call a help referral form; she was given an ATV form as well as a provisional ballot form as if she was not registered to vote,” Privott stated.
She added, “Some (people) were given provisional ballots because of a poll worker error; (he/she) pressed the wrong button on a screen to pull up a few voter’s names, so it looked like the voter had already voted, but the error was corrected and every vote was counted and no voter was turned away in any precinct.”
Overall, 66.77 percent of registered Hertford County voters cast a ballot in this election (10,183 out of 15,252), with 4,757 of those either being early voting or mail-in absentee ballots.