Coin flip determines Colerain winner

Published 4:22 pm Friday, November 24, 2023

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WINDSOR – The flip of a coin broke a tie between two write-in candidates and determined the winner of a seat on the Colerain Board of Commissioners.

The coin flip took place here Wednesday when the Bertie County Board of Elections met to break two ties that occurred during the local municipal elections held Nov. 7.

One of those ties was for an unexpired two-year term on the Colerain Board of Commissioners. There, no one filed for the two full-term seats or the one unexpired term.

Jacques Turner (7) and Lynn Askew (6) topped the write-in ballots cast for the two full-term seats. However, Turner also received three write-in votes for the one unexpired term. That vote total tied him with Alyssa Fairless and Herbert Copeland.

At Wednesday’s meeting of the Board of Elections, Turner accepted Colerain’s full term seat and withdrew his name from the unexpired term balloting.

That left Fairless and Copeland tied for the unexpired term. Election Board Chair Michael Freeman and his colleagues chose to use a coin toss as a random selection to determine a winner. After the coin toss was complete, Fairless was declared the winner of the Colerain Town Commissioner unexpired term.

In Aulander, voters were asked to fill three unexpired terms on its Board of Commissioners. Richard Jernigan was the only person to file for a seat and he topped the balloting with 86 votes. Ronnie Poppell was named on 56 write-in ballots, thus earning the second unexpired term. The third seat in that race ended in a tie between Phillip Thomas and Ricky Duke, both of whom received five write-in votes.

However, Thomas received 54 votes among four candidates who filed for the two full-term seats on the Aulander Commission. That total was second to Tommy P. Hale’s 67 votes, meaning Thomas could claim the full term seat.

At Wednesday’s meeting, Thomas accepted the full term seat and withdrew his name from the balloting for the unexpired term. That decision left Duke as the third leading vote getter for the third and final unexpired term seat. However, according to Bertie Elections Director LaToya Peele, Duke declined to accept the seat.

As a result of Duke’s decision, the Aulander Board of Commissioners will have to appoint someone to serve the remaining two years of the unexpired term.


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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