Incumbent Gov. Pat McCrory officially conceded to Democratic challenger Roy Cooper Monday, after weeks of legal battles concerning election results.
Prior to the concession McCrory and the state Republican Party had filed numerous protests against the State Board of Elections over voting irregularities. County Boards of Elections originally dismissed many of the protests.
“Despite continued questions that should be answered regarding the voting process, I personally believe that the majority of our citizens have spoken, and we now should do everything we can to support the 75th governor of North Carolina, Roy Cooper,” McCrory said in a video statement released yesterday.
In Durham County, the State Board of elections ordered a recount in response to allegations that mail-in absentee irregularities impacted the results.
Jennifer Frye, associate director at Democracy North Carolina, said the McCrory campaign also attempted to conduct investigations that would prove voter fraud, however the evidence was never validated.
“When a party charges fraud and voter irregularities, without really any evidence, it undermines people’s confidence in the process,” said N.C. Rep. Verla Insko, D-Orange.
McCrory issued his concession as the recount he ordered in Durham wrapped up, which showed no changes in the results.
Cooper led McCrory by a margin of 10,293 votes at the time of publication, and the margin must be less than 10,000 to order a recount. Michael Bitzer, a professor of political science at Catawba College, said even if Durham’s recount had caused the margin to dip below 10,000, it was unlikely a statewide recount would have produced an additional 9,000 votes.
“I certainly think it felt like the governor saw the writing on the wall,” he said. “He was able to get the Durham recount but there was just not enough change coming out of that recount to make up for the 10,000-plus votes.”