Republican District 3 Guilford County Commissioner Justin Conrad still has one more hurdle to clear before he can claim that title for another four years: Democratic challenger for the seat Tracy Lamothe has asked for a recount of the very close Tuesday, Nov. 6 contest that Conrad won – presumably – by less than one percent of the vote.
On Friday, Nov. 16, after the Guilford County Board of Elections finished two days of sorting through, ruling on and counting provisional votes and absentee ballots, the elections board determined that Lamothe was entitled to a recount, which will now take place on Tuesday, Nov. 20.
After the provisional and absentee ballots were counted in the race and a decision was made on the recount, Conrad said he wasn’t particularly worried.
“She picked up about 70 votes,” he said, adding that he was still ahead by over 200 votes.
Conrad said he’d spoken with Guilford County Board of Elections Director Charlie Collicutt who told him, Conrad said, that historically, in recounts in Guilford County, only a handful of votes are likely to change.
On Thursday, Nov. 15, Conrad sat through hours of the tedious vote counting process in the Blue Room of the Old Guilford County Court House and he remained there while the Board of Commissioners held a work session in an adjacent building. Conrad also sat through the proceedings on Friday.
Lamothe sat through some of the elections board’s meetings as well.
Kathryn Lindley, a member of the Guilford County Board of Elections, said late Friday that she’s served on the elections board for a decade and has seen quite a few recounts – and so far those haven’t changed any outcomes.
“We haven’t seen any real surprises,” Lindley said.
She said that sometimes paper ballots can get smeared and that can cause them to be tabulated incorrectly but that is very infrequent.