WJTV News Channel 12 - Williams withdraws election protest

Williams withdraws election protest

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On Tuesday, Terri Williams, candidate for Greenville District 4 City Council withdrew her election protest recently filed with the Pitt County Board of Elections. 

Mrs. Williams noted, “We heard reports of possible election irregularities and thought it would be prudent to inquire. While our findings show that some irregularities may have occurred, we ultimately felt we could not effectively meet the burden of proof.”

Mrs. Williams wishes to thank her many volunteers and supporters during the election process.  She also commends the Pitt County Board of Elections, who went above and beyond in their service and due diligence before, during and after this election. 

To prevent the same misunderstandings in future elections, it is her hope that the Board of Elections will look for ways to provide educational information and training regarding the provisional ballot processes to precinct workers as well as the general public.

“Congratulations to my opponent,” commented Mrs. Williams. “I wish the best for Greenville and look forward to continuing to serve this great community in some capacity in the near future.”

On Wednesday the board will still hear the protest filed by District 3 candidate Katherine Wetherington. 

Previous story

A winner is declared in a race that was too close to call. Friday morning the Board of Elections affirmed through a recount that Rick Smiley will fill Greenville’s District 4 seat.

The margin went from 13 to 11 and now 12. "We recount every ballot that was cast for the District 4 contest," Elections Director Dave Davis.

One by one staffers fed ballots into machines to verify the official results released Wednesday. The board counted nine precincts including provisional and absentee ballots.

"If you look at this room today, you've got a cross section of the community. You've got both political parties represented. Everything is above board and on the table," Chairman Patrick Nelson said.

Terri Williams requested the recount and participated in the process. Watching and asking questions while the work went on. "Most of the voting public has no clue exactly what goes in to counting provisional votes or doing the recount and what the process is really about. So it's been educational as well as informative,” Williams said.

At the conclusion of the certification process the margin changed. Twelve votes divided Smiley and Williams. To verify the process Williams requested a eye-hand count.

So the board randomly selected precinct seven and counted those votes by hand. The hand-eye count proved the electronic machines were accurate and that Rick Smiley was the clear winner.

Williams says she appreciates the work of the Board of Elections and says she will be running in 2 years. The last step in this process is hearing a protest filed by Williams with the Board of Elections over reported issues at a precinct.

On Wednesday the board will hear that and another protest filed by District 3 candidate Katherine Wetherington. In the meantime, Rick Smiley says he appreciates the hard work of the board of elections and is looking forward to serving.

--- Previous Story ---

Official election results are in and the race for Greenville's District 4 city council seat is even tighter than the unofficial results showed.

Instead of Rick Smiley winning by 13 votes, he only won by 11.

His opponent, Terri Williams, says she's not satisfied. She asked for a recount.

That recount will take place Friday morning at the Pitt County Elections Headquarters.

--Previous Story--

Too close to call. City Council candidates in Greenville's District 4 race say it's not over until it’s over. 13 votes separate the two and one of them is requesting a recount.

Unofficial results might show Rick Smiley as the winner but his opponent, Terri Williams says she's not satisfied.

Tuesday’s results separate Smiley and Williams by 13 votes. The director of elections also confirms 26 provisional ballots need to be verified.

This is a race we’ve covered closely. A month ago, a Greenville voter challenged Williams’ residency, claiming she actually lived in bathe and not District-4.

Bill Bivins filed the complaint after a bankruptcy document showed a bathe address. The Pitt County Board of Elections ultimately sided with Williams saying that she provided sufficient amount of proof that she lived in district 4. 

At noon on Wednesday, Williams turned in her request for a recount and then spoke to 9 on your side about her decision.

“I think that it's important that with such a close vote for my supporters and my constituency that we have them recounted. We also had it requested, although it's done anyway that provisional ballots be included in that recount.” Williams said.

Absentee ballots postmarked November 5th and arrive by Friday will also be counted. Supplemental absentee ballots and provisional ballots will be counted at 9:00 am November 12th.  All election results will be made official by the signing of the election abstract at 11:00 am on November 12th.  The deadline to request a recount is by 5:00 pm the first business day following canvass (November 13th).

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