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July 30, 2014

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Originally published: 2013-11-14 08:25:36
Last modified: 2013-11-14 08:26:21

Election results official, winners unchanged

Anna Oakes

The winners in the Nov. 5 municipal elections can now begin looking forward to their upcoming terms, as the Watauga County Board of Elections’ canvass on Tuesday made the results official.

The board accepted elections office staff’s recommendation to approve 94 of the 117 provisional ballots cast on Nov. 5 as valid; all of the valid provisionals were for the Boone municipal election. The board also approved three additional mail-in absentee ballots that had arrived and were postmarked by the Nov. 4 deadline - all three were for the Boone election as well.

Watauga County Elections Director Jane Hodges said the number of provisional ballots cast this year was high for a municipal election.

Board of elections member Kathleen Campbell attributed the high number to the board’s decision not to establish a transfer station at the Boone 2 polling place at Appalachian State University’s Legends music hall.

Campbell, a Democrat on the three-member board with Republicans Luke Eggers and Bill Aceto, had lobbied for a transfer station at Boone 2, but Eggers and Aceto opposed the move.

A transfer station allows voters who show up to the wrong precinct polling place to cast a ballot and have it counted immediately; otherwise, voters must fill out a provisional ballot, which is evaluated by elections staff.

Hodges said most of the provisional voters had showed up to the incorrect precinct or had moved without updating their registration information.

In Boone, 1,922 out of 16,399 active and inactive registered voters cast ballots in this year’s election, a turnout of 11.7 percent.

The majority, 1,014, voted during the early voting period, while 34 mailed in absentee ballots and 874 cast ballots on Election Day.

The three winners in the Boone Town Council race remain the same with the addition of the provisional and mail-in ballots, although the top two vote-getters traded places. Jennifer Peña officially garnered the most votes in the election, with 1,202, followed by Rennie Brantz at 1,191 and Quint David at 1,093. Peña and Brantz will serve four-year terms, while David will serve a two-year term, and all three will be sworn in on Dec. 17.

In Blowing Rock, 627 out of 1,242 active and inactive registered voters participated in this year’s election — a 50.5 percent turnout rate.

Beech Mountain saw a turnout rate of 56.4 percent, with 225 out of 399 registered voters casting ballots.

The uncontested election for the Seven Devils Town Council drew 38 out of 152 eligible voters, a turnout of 25 percent.

Official Election Results

Below are the official 2013 municipal election results tabulated at the canvass held by the Watauga County Board of Elections on Tuesday. The addition of mail-in and provisional ballots altered the final numbers of the Boone races - but not the results - while the totals in the other three town races did not change after Nov. 5.
The candidates are listed in descending order by total number of votes received.
Boone Turnout            11.7%  (1,922 of 16,399 registered voters)
Boone Mayor
(W) Andy Ball                      1,139
John Mena                              517
Brad Harmon                          151
Jenny Church (write-in)           120
Write-in                                     8
Boone Town Council
(W) Jennifer Pena                  1,202
(W) Rennie Brantz                 1,191
(W) Quint David                    1,093
Mark Templeton                       720
Matthew Long                          691
James Milner                           568
Write-in                                    36
Blowing Rock Turnout            50.5% (627 of 1,242 registered voters)
Blowing Rock Mayor
(W) J.B. Lawrence                   452
Dan Phillips                             160
Write-in                                      2
Blowing Rock Town Council
(W) Doug Matheson                   425
(W) Sue Sweeting                      410
(W) Ray Pickett                          279
Tommy Klutz                              222
Laurin Carter                              180
David Barker                              145
Write-in                                         2
Beech Mountain Turnout        56.4% (225 of 399 registered voters)
Beech Mountain Town Council
(W) Rick Miller                           159
(W) Paul Piquet                          158
(W) Cindy Keller                         147
Eddie Plante                                 71
Barry Schorr                                 61
Write-in                                         4
Seven Devils Turnout             25% (38 out of 152 eligible voters)
Seven Devils Town Council
(W) David Hooper                       30
(W) Kay Ehlinger                         29
(W) David Ehmig                         28
Write-in                                      12

W = Winners

For more information and stories, see The Blowing Rocket.

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