Democratic North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper’s lead over the state’s governor, Pat McCrory, has now surpassed 10,000 votes, the threshold for requesting a recount, though the vote tally is not yet finalized.
The state board of elections website shows Cooper leading McCrory by 10,329 votes, and candidates in North Carolina are permitted to ask for a recount when the margin in the race is 10,000 votes or fewer.
In a tweet noting the latest vote total, Marc Elias, a lawyer working with Cooper’s campaign, declared, “Game over.”
Seven counties had yet to certify their votes as of Wednesday afternoon, according to the state board’s website, so the margin may change and drop below 10,000 votes again. After Election Day, Cooper led McCrory by about 5,000 votes, and his lead in the race has doubled since then.
McCrory filed for a recount when the margin was below 10,000 votes, before the election results were certified. He has refused to concede the race until the results are final, using a flurry of ballot complaints to allege widespread voter fraud in the state.
In a Monday evening order, the state elections board effectively tossed most of the complaints filed by Republicans. The complaints alleged that ballots were cast by people who were dead, who were felons, or who had also voted elsewhere, but the deadline for filing those types of challenges passed before Election Day. The state board of elections will only address those challenges if the complaints included enough votes to change the outcome of an election. It does not appear that there enough challenges filed to swing the election in McCrory’s favor.
The state board of elections is still considering protests involving early vote ballots in Durham County and absentee ballots in Bladen County.