Provisional ballots may decide tied Landis race

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 9, 2011

By Shavonne Potts
LANDIS — The mayoral race in Landis is tied, with incumbent Dennis Brown and challenger James Furr each receiving 195 votes.
The results are unofficial until the Rowan County Board of Election certifies the election. That process includes examining any provisional ballots to determine if the voters were registered, which could tip the mayor’s race.
Election officials will certify the election at 11 a.m. Tuesday.
What happens if the tie remains?
“They’ll be chosen by lot. They will have to draw straws or pull a name out of a hat,” said Nancy Evans, county elections director.
Evans recalled a Spencer mayoral election in early 2000 that resulted in a tie.
“I don’t know what to say. I’m surprised. I’m stunned that it would come down to a tie,” Brown said.
Furr said he was glad to see the results.
“Of course, I would’ve liked to have a victory out of it,” Furr said.
He said he understands provisionals must be counted.
“We’ll have to wait and see what they show us,” Furr said.
Furr said believes confusion about where to vote was a factor in the election. China Grove was one of a number of places where precincts were consolidated or moved this year.
Furr said some people were confused and just gave up on voting, going home instead.
The men spent much of Tuesday at the polls greeting voters.
Before they left the South Rowan Library’s voting precinct, Furr congratulated Brown when the early votes had Brown ahead by a mere five votes.
Both Roger Safrit and Tony Hilton will return to the board.
Safrit will enter his second term on the board. He won a seat in 2008 after Dean Beck won and later stepped down. Safrit finished just five votes behind Beck in that 2007 election.
He was the highest vote-getter this year, with 257 votes, or 36.25 percent.
“I appreciate the town of Landis that they have confidence in me for the next four years,” Safrit said.
“I’m looking forward to working with the board for another four years,” he said.
Hilton received 242 votes, or 34.13 percent.
“I’m very grateful for another term on the board,” Hilton said.
He said the board has worked hard to improve conditions, build up the general fund and avoid increasing taxes.
“People know the board in place has done a good job. That’s why we’ve returned,” Hilton said.
Tony Corriher received 198 votes, or 27.93 percent.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.