High number of provisional ballots cast on campus

Stephanie Sansoucy

Voters cast 108 provisional ballots at the Legends polling place Tuesday, a high number for a municipal election, said Jane Anne Hodges, director of the Watauga County Board of Elections.

The total number of provisional ballots that will be counted has not been determined yet because of the process it takes to validate every provisional ballot, Hodges said.

“It takes a long time just to do one,” Hodges said. “We have to input a lot of information just for one ballot.”

The unofficial results of the election, which excluded the provisional votes, were released Tuesday night.

Andy Ball won the Boone mayoral race with 1,066 votes, the candidate with the second highest number of votes was John Mena with 502.

The provisional ballots could make a difference in the Boone Town Council race.

The number of votes a town council candidate gets affects how long their term will be. The top two spots in this election will get four year terms, Ball said.

In the results, excluding provisional ballots, Rennie Brantz leads the race with 1,127 votes and Jennifer Peña has the second highest number of votes with 1,126. Quint David has 1,028 votes, which would make him the third candidate to win a seat on the council.

The provisional votes will be counted by Tuesday.

Legends became an on-campus voting site after the Watauga County Board of elections voted to move on-campus voting from Plemmons Student Union to the nightclub, according to an article published in The Appalachian on Sept. 4.

The only on-campus voting location was not made a transfer site by Luke Eggers, board of elections chairman, which meant that anyone who was not assigned to vote at Legends would have to fill out a provisional ballot if they chose to vote there.
Being a transfer site would have made Legends a place where any person in the county could have voted, according to an article published in The Appalachian on Oct. 23.

Hodges said that even with the high number of provisional votes, the count will be done on time.