The North Carolina State Board of Elections issued a brief statement on Friday, Dec.18 that’s likely to be the nail in the coffin for the current term of Guilford County Commissioner Alan Branson.
The correspondence stated tersely that the state’s election board had dismissed Branson’s appeal.
The Republican Branson trailed his Democratic competitor Mary Beth Murphy in the District 4 county commissioners race by 72 votes after all the votes were counted in the November election. However, Branson then protested some mail-in votes that he argued lacked certain qualifying characteristics such as the address of witnesses or the fact that they were originally sent to another county’s elections office.
The fight was a real uphill battle for Branson because only about 80 of the votes he was protesting had a bearing on the District 4 race, and, even if he had gotten those votes tossed out, he would still only be the victor if virtually all of those voters had been cast against him.
“The State Board of Elections … received the election protest appeal you filed,” the letter to Branson read. “The matter was provided to State Board members but will not be heard by the State Board. The matter has been administratively dismissed pursuant to [North Carolina General Statutes]. Attached is a copy of the Executive Director’s recommendation to administratively dismiss the matter citing the applicable basis … Also attached is a copy of the rule and a copy of the general statute regarding appeal of a final decision by the State Board.”
Even though Branson got the notice on Friday, he may have seen the writing on the wall while he was taking part in a Thursday evening, Dec. 17 Board of Commissioners meeting. At the end of that meeting, Branson made a host of comments regarding his time on the board and the commissioners he had served with.