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Williams Withdraws Election Protest; Wetherington’s Still Pending

by Guardian Staff

Greenville city council district 4 hopeful Terri Williams late yesterday withdrew her election protest, effectively ending her campaign and conceding victory to Rick Smiley. A 4 p.m. Board of Elections hearing on the protest of district 3 candidate Katherine Wetherington, however, is still pending.

Williams’ protest charged some voters were turned away from the polls for lack of registration and not offered provisional ballots. It included an affidavit from Ashley Wetherington. Katherine, her mother, lost in the official tally to district 3 incumbent Marion Blackburn by 60 votes, and filed a protest of her own which makes similar claims.

In her affidavit on Williams’ behalf, Ashley Wetherington described what was elsewhere referred to in Williams’ now-withdrawn protest as “confusion” among poll workers at the St. James Church polling place.

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Williams sent the below email to Pitt County Board of Elections Director Dave Davis Tuesday afternoon, 23 hours prior to the scheduled start of today’s scheduled hearing on her protest:

From: Terri Williams
Sent: Tuesday, November 19, 2013 4:59 PM
To: Davis, Dave
Subject: withdrawal of protest

I would like to inform you that today, I am withdrawing my election protest recently filed with the Pitt County Board of Elections. Because we heard reports of possible election irregularities, we thought it would be prudent to inquire. Our findings indicated that some irregularities may have occurred, however, we could not effectively meet the burden of proof.

I would like to offer my sincere appreciation to the Pitt County Board of Elections for their service, assistance, and due diligence during the entire election process.

In the future, I hope the Board of Elections will find a way to provide educational information and training regarding the provisional ballot process to precinct workers as well as the general public.

It has been a pleasure working with you.

Sincerely,
Terri Williams
Candidate

A Guardian investigation of would-be voters’ affidavits included with Wetherington’s protest filing appeared to indicate their complaints were without merit.

Responses (2)

  1. Linda McGowan says:

    Didn’t the North Carolina Legislature recently put more restrictions on the counting of provisional ballots?

    • Anthony Noel says:

      Nothing recent that I’ve found, Linda. Maybe they added restrictions in the voter ID bill signed into law by Gov. McCrory earlier this year, over which the US DOJ is now suing the state.

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