Credit Nash County Elections Director John Kearney and the Nash County Board of Elections for their even-handed approach toward reconciling a simmering feud in the mayoral election in Sharpsburg.
Kearney and the board will listen next week as Mayor Robert Williams presents evidence of what he says are voting irregularities that allegedly occurred in the Oct. 8 election. Williams’ case comes on the heels of a canvass and a recount that both showed the incumbent mayor losing by four votes to challenger Randy Weaver. The mayor has called for a new election.
Any race decided by such a close margin is likely to trigger a double-take. The Nash County board will give Williams an opportunity to present evidence on Nov. 1. Afterward, the board can decide whether to recommend to the N.C. Board of Elections that a new election be scheduled.
It’s easy to understand why Williams wants to make sure the Oct. 8 results are accurate, but some of the arguments presented on his protest application seem conflicted. In the protest he filed with the Board of Elections, he argues that someone who isn’t a resident of Sharpsburg voted in the race. Later, he states the same voter is a resident of Sharpsburg, but not at the address listed in the voter rolls.
He also argues that other non-Sharpsburg residents voted in the election.
Any irregularity of that sort, if true, should be taken seriously. And it would present the board some tough questions. If, for example, a non-resident did vote in the election, who’s to say how that person voted? How can a board determine which ballot belongs to that person?
All the more reason for the Nash County board to continue its course of cautious deliberation.