A recount could be coming following the close Chapel Hill Town Council race on Tuesday night.
Tai Huynh leads incumbent Nancy Oates by 24 votes in the race for the final seat up for election to the Chapel Hill Town Council after the initial numbers from Election Night were counted, but those numbers are not final. Orange County received 33 provisional ballots on Tuesday, according to elections director Rachel Raper, and 21 of those were ballots that contained the race for the Chapel Hill Town Council. Raper also said the county is awaiting the status of 234 absentee ballots that were mailed out following requests from voters, but again not all of those would be eligible to vote in the Chapel Hill Town Council race. If the absentee ballots were postmarked by November 5 and are received by the county by November 8, then the ballot will be considered moving forward.
County staff are researching and reconciling the provisional ballots and will continue to monitor the supplemental absentee ballots that could be received by Friday, Raper said. That information will then be presented to the Orange County Board of Elections at a meeting next Thursday afternoon. The board will weigh whether the ballots were cast by eligible voters and, if so, add those vote to the totals from Election Night.
The county Board of Elections will then have a meeting on Friday, November 15, to certify the elections.
If the margin holds withing one percent of the votes cast between Huynh and Oates, then the trailing candidate – Oates, if the results hold from Election Night – has the ability to call for a recount. That recount request must be submitted by 5 p.m. Monday, November 18. Oates has not responded to multiple requests as to whether she is interested in asking for a recount, if the margin holds.
The race was tight throughout the night and flipped from Oates holding the fourth slot to Huynh when the final votes came in and the precincts that are in the Chapel Hill portion of Durham County were added to the total.
The other three spots on the Town Council were decided on Tuesday night with incumbents Jess Anderson and Michael Parker winning seats along with longtime planning commission member Amy Ryan.