North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory says he has filed for a statewide recount on Tuesday, prolonging a two-week stalemate with his Democratic challenger.
The razor-thin race between McCrory and Roy Cooper was too close to call on Election Day, with Cooper holding a lead of about 4,500 votes out of 4.7 million cast. As the state tallies provisional and absentee ballots, Cooper’s lead has expanded to about 6,800, within the 10,000-vote threshold for a recount.
“With many outstanding votes yet to be counted for the first time, legal challenges, ballot protests and voter fraud allegations, we must keep open the ability to allow the established recount process to ensure every legal vote is counted properly,” McCrory’s campaign manager Russell Peck said in a statement.
Since Election Day, McCrory’s team has lodged challenges of voter fraud in 50 of North Carolina’s 100 counties, although several local elections boards have rejected his protests because of a lack of evidence.
Meanwhile, Cooper has led a statewide effort among Democrats to urge McCrory to drop the challenges.
“Instead of attacking North Carolina voters and undermining our democratic process, Gov. McCrory needs to accept his defeat and concede,” Cooper spokesman Ford Porter said, according to the Raleigh News & Observer.
Despite the race not officially being called, Cooper claimed victory on Election Day, and on Monday announced the leaders of his transition team, saying it would be “irresponsible” to wait any longer.
The race between McCrory and Cooper was the closest of any gubernatorial election this year, and the last in the country to be settled.
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