The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Local News

November 24, 2006

Kissell wants ballots inspected by state board

Thursday, November 23, 2006 — Democratic challenger Larry Kissell is down but he’s not out.

The candidate for the District 8 seat in the U.S. House of Representatives said Tuesday night he’ll seek a manual count of ballots in what turned out to be the closest House race in the U.S.

"Today's machine recount of ballots in the remaining counties of the 8th District continued to narrow the gap in this tightening race, but more importantly clearly indicated to me there remains uncounted votes in the Congressional election,” Kissell said.

Kissell pointed to Cabarrus County , where “merely by repeating the exact same process of feeding the ballots through the same machines, 28 previously uncounted preferences for Congress once counted as ‘undervote’ ballots with regard to the top of the ticket, were recorded.”

“As such, I've requested a sample hand/eye visual inspection of the ballots in each county to be supervised by the State Board of Elections to ensure all the votes be counted. I owe nothing less to the voters of this District than to fight for every vote to be counted regardless of the candidate of their choice,” he said.

A recount of votes this week narrowed incumbent U.S. Rep. Robin Hayes' lead over challenger Kissell

With machine recounts complete in all 10 of the district's counties Tuesday evening, Kissell had shaved Hayes' lead to 329 votes - out of more than 121,000 cast - thanks to a net gain of 13 votes in Cabarrus, Cumberland, Hoke, Montgomery, Richmond and Union counties.

Anson, Mecklenburg and Stanly counties completed their retabulation of votes from the Nov. 7 election on Monday.

John Wallace, a lawyer for the state Democratic Party and the Kissell campaign, said he filed paperwork Tuesday requesting the hand recount, which will be carried out next week in 3 percent of the district's precincts.

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