Election protest dismissed

Published 5:29 pm Tuesday, December 12, 2023

AHOSKIE – The Hertford County Board of Elections has dismissed a protest that was filed prior to the Nov. 7 municipal election.

That dismissal led to the official certification of the election results in a three-person race for the Ward B seat up for grabs this year on the Ahoskie Town Council.

The results from the election show that Ward B incumbent Charles Reynolds topped the ballots in that race. Reynolds received 94 votes compared to 78 for David Robertson and 13 for Donald Kirkland.

In early October, Kirkland filed a protest with the county’s Board of Elections, alleging that Robertson does not reside in Ward B. At that time, Shelia Privott, Director of the Hertford County Board of Elections, said Kirkland submitted enough evidence to warrant the elections board looking into his protest. She added that this type of protest does not involve the manner in which votes were counted or involve how the results were tabulated.

Kirkland’s protest came before the county’s Board of Elections at their Dec. 5 meeting. There, the board, in a 5-0 vote, dismissed the matter. The board ruled that the protest, regardless of its validity, failed to establish an outcome-determinative irregularity, violation of law, or misconduct.

With the ruling also declaring the results of the Ward B race as official, that cleared the way for Reynolds to be sworn in for another four-year term in office.

However, Privott noted that Kirkland has filed a different protest. On Dec. 6, one day after the dismissal of the election protest, Kirkland filed a voter challenge against Robertson. Privott said the challenge is basically the same as Kirkland’s original protest as it alleges that Robertson does not reside at the Ward B address as listed on Roberston’s voter registration card.

Privott said the challenge will require a hearing by the county’s Board of Elections. The time and date of that hearing has yet to be determined, Privott said.

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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