The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Local News

November 10, 2006

Provisional votes key for Kissell, Hayes

Thursday, November 9, 2006 — In the early morning hours of Wednesday, District 8 hopeful Larry Kissell was buoyant.

He hadn’t gotten shellacked by incumbent Republican Robin Hayes in his bid for the U.S. House of Representatives.

In fact, he was a mere 468 votes behind.

His opponent had already declared victory, but wait a minute, Kissell told his supporters.

Provisional ballots in sections of heavily Democratic Mecklenburg County and across the district hadn’t been counted yet.

“I’ll be on the phone the first thing this morning, asking when they’ll be counting ‘em,” Steve Hudson, Kissell’s campaign manager, vowed around 2 a.m. Wednesday.

During the night, Kissell picked up another 122 votes.

“We picked up some extra votes last night because of an error in the originally reported election returns narrowing the margin to 346 as of now. That's one of the many reasons we're hopeful on this end. Nothing is set in stone on these numbers and every time we turn around the reporting errors seem to be breaking our way. Any way you look at it, a winner won't be decided in this race for several weeks, so stay tuned and hang on,” Hudson said.

Nov. 17 is the date that election boards across the 8th District will consider provisional ballots and certify Tuesday’s results.

That’s the day, Hudson said, Kissell wll know if he’s pulled off the upset victory over incumbent Hayes.

Just how many provisional ballots will be in play on Nov. 17?

“We've been trying to get a hard provisional vote count by county all morning. No one really seems to have a count,” Hudson said.

Kissell, a former textile mill employee turned teacher, remains in awe of the numbers.

“The proof is in the numbers. I beat Hayes in counties that he has traditionally won in the past. I ran strong in Hayes' home county of Cabarrus ,exceeding recent Democratic margins there as well as in Union and Stanly Counties,” he said.

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