Provisional votes seal Furr's win in Landis

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 16, 2011

By Shavonne Potts
SALISBURY — After two recounts and the admission of two provisional ballots, the Rowan County Board of Elections declared challenger James Furr winner of the Landis mayoral race Tuesday.
But the campaign still may not be over. Mayor Dennis Brown, who lost by two votes once the results were certified, can ask for another recount and said he hasn’t yet decided whether to do so.
The Board of Elections met Tuesday to perform its official canvass and certify the results of the Nov. 8 municipal elections. That included determining which provisional ballots could be counted in the final tallies.
Provisionals ballots are those set aside on election day when there’s a question about the voter’s eligibility. In Landis, precinct judges identified three such ballots last week, and elections officials determined that one of those was cast by a person who was not a registered voter.
The two remaining provisionals were counted, and both went to Furr.
“I’m honored by the results,” Furr, a current alderman, said by phone Tuesday. He was out of town at a conference and did not attend the Board of Elections canvass.
Furr said he would’ve preferred an election without so much controversy, but he’s appreciative of his supporters and “I hope I can perform and satisfy those who didn’t select me.”
Tuesday’s results capped a topsy-turvy week in the race for Landis mayor.
The candidates finished the Nov. 8 election with 195 votes apiece. A machine recount Thursday put Brown up by one vote, but a hand recount by the Board of Elections on Monday found the two tied again at 195 votes.
If they had remained tied after the provisionals were counted, the winner could have been determined by drawing a name from a hat.
Brown attended the canvass Tuesday. Afterward, the incumbent said he has enjoyed serving as mayor and was disappointed with the result.
“I wish him the best,” Brown said of Furr. He added, “I’m not gone yet.”
With the final margin so close, Brown can legally request another recount. He said Tuesday he would likely decide by Friday whether to ask for one.
If the results stand, the Landis Board of Aldermen would need to select someone to serve out the final two years of Furr’s term on the board.
Contact Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.