HILDEBRAN — A race for a seat on the Hildebran Town Council that ended in a tie could be decided by a coin toss.

The tie is between Terry Weaver and Incumbent Jody York, with each receiving 80 votes, or 24.69 percent of the votes, in Tuesday’s election.

The results of the election are unofficial until canvassing of the votes is completed on Nov. 15.

The North Carolina State Board of Elections says if there is a tie in a contest that is a simple plurality election, the winner will be determined by lot. The method of the drawing is not specified in state statute, just that it must be random. In recent municipal elections, county boards of elections have broken ties by coin toss, drawing colored pens and pulling names out of a bowl, the state elections board says.

“You should notify the candidates in the affected contest of the county board’s meeting at which they will draw lots,” the state board told directors of elections in counties throughout the state Wednesday.

The North Carolina State Board of Elections says that in the event of a tied contest where the result is to be determined by lot, the North Carolina Administrative Code requires that candidates wait to draw the lot until after an affected candidate can request a recount, unless all affected candidates waive their right in writing to request a recount.

While the municipal and school board elections in Burke County were a simple plurality election, meaning one vote more wins, candidates in races where the difference is 1 percent or less can request a recount, according to the state elections board.

Candidates in close races have until 5 p.m. on Nov. 18 to ask for a recount. The North Carolina State Board of Elections said a candidate must submit a recount demand to the county board of elections by that deadline.

The state board of elections says a non-statewide candidate is eligible to request a mandatory recount if the difference between the votes for that candidate and the prevailing candidate is 1 percent or less, or in the case of a multi-seat contest not more than 1 percent of the votes cast for those two candidates. The request for a recount has to be made in writing but state law does not prohibit the request from being faxed or emailed but it must be signed by the candidate, according to the state board.

The race for the eastern district seat on the Burke County Board of Education between Incumbent Randy Burns and Wendi Craven Barber was less than .3 percent, according to unofficial results from Tuesday’s election.

Debbie Mace, director of elections for Burke County said her office is working on provisional ballots, write-ins and absentee by mail ballots. She said some absentee ballots that are still out may come in. Absentee ballots can be counted if they are postmarked by Election Day and arrive three days after the election, she said.

The unofficial turnout as of Wednesday was 2,671 voters cast a ballot during early voting, while 4,029 cast a ballot on Tuesday, Mace said.

Elections workers will barely be able to catch their breath before they have the 2020 election to think about.

Filing for the 2020 primary election starts at noon Dec. 2 and runs through noon Dec. 20.

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Sharon McBrayer can be reached at smcbrayer@morganton.com or at 828-432-8946.

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