By Catharin Shepard •
Staff writer •
The Hoke County Board of Education election results were among a handful of races across the state that were not certified last week by the North Carolina State Board of Elections (NCSBE).
The NCSBE met November 24 to certify the results of local, state and federal election contests across North Carolina. However, some contests were not certified due to protests filed in those races that were still pending as of November 24. In Hoke County, Dr. Lent Carr, the campaign manager and husband of Hoke Board of Education candidate Dr. Deltarina Carr, filed a protest alleging misconduct and other issues in the race. Carr called for a new election, among other requests in the race.
Hoke Board of Elections Director Towanna Jackson stated in documents that Carr’s complaint did not provide evidence of misconduct or any legal violation. Jackson submitted the documents as an administrative dismissal of the protest that would automatically take effect unless the Hoke Board of Elections or the state board stepped in.
Neither the local board nor the state board stepped in. Carr’s protest was considered dismissed on the local level, Jackson said Tuesday.
However, due to the timing, the protest had to remain open until November 25 – the day after the NCSBE met to certify election results. Since the protest was considered still pending during the meeting on November 24, the NCSBE could not certify the results in the Board of Elections race.
Additionally, although the protest was dismissed locally, Carr can still file an appeal to the NCSBE, Jackson said.
“It was dismissed through us but he has a right to appeal to the state,” she said.
The NCSBE has not yet notified Jackson of any appeal, and as of Tuesday had not yet certified the school board election results. The News-Journal reached out to NCSBE media contacts for further details on the appeal process and what a timeline might be for any action on the state board’s part, or when the board might consider certifying Hoke’s Board of Education results.
School board incumbent Rosa McAllister-McRae and board member-elect Keisha Gill are set to be sworn in to office at the first Hoke Board of Education meeting in December, scheduled for next week. Jackson said she did not believe Carr’s protest would affect the swearing-in.
“I don’t believe it will because his was based more off of a complaint than a protest,” she said.
In the November election, Dr. Deltarina Carr received 2,909 votes in the race for two seats on the Hoke County Board of Education. Candidate John Wright received 8,308 votes, candidate Keisha Gill received 9,593 votes and incumbent McAllister-McRae received 11,164 votes. The school board is nonpartisan.
There were several other races across the state that also weren’t certified due to pending protests. The uncertified races include Chief Justice of the N.C. Supreme Court, which is undergoing a recount; a district court judge position in Wake County, N.C. House District 36 in Wake County and the Wayne County Register of Deeds.