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Protest Filed in McBee Election Results

Sept. 11, 2018

Tight election in McBee leads to protest

A record turnout of about 66 percent of the electorate in the town of McBee yielded extremely tight numbers in the results of the two contested seats in the Sept. 4 McBee Town Council election.

There was a total of 429 ballots cast. Prior to the count of absentee ballots that was held publicly after the polls closed at 7 p.m., McLeod led with 191 votes, followed by Green with 184, Odom 167, Robinson, 144 and Tyner 8.

After including 53 of the 61 absentee ballots, incumbent Kemp McLeod had a narrow lead with 206 votes, followed by challengers Glenn Odom with 203, Shilon Green 201, Don Robinson 177 and Sim Tyner 8.

The remaining eight absentee ballots were challenged by McLeod. There were also nine provisional ballots.

Following the public unofficial vote count, Linda Sterling, chair of the McBee Municipal Election Commission, announced she would work with both the candidates and the county elections office regarding the validity of the challenged absentee ballots. The status of the provisional ballots also would be reviewed with the county elections office.

During the public certification of the election Thursday, Sterling announced Tuesday night’s unofficial results had been corrected because of an arithmetical error. The corrected unofficial results were McLeod 206, Odom 206, Green 202, Robinson 180 and Tyner 8.

After consulting with the candidates and the county elections office, the McBee MEC accepted seven of the nine provisional ballots and two of the eight challenged absentee ballots, according to Sterling.

When the MEC counted the nine accepted ballots, the tally was McLeod 212, Green 209, Odom 208, Robinson 182 and Tyner 8. Sterling then declared this count as the official results.

Typically, the top two vote-getters would be declared the winners of the two contested seats.

However, Odom has filed a written letter protesting the results of the election. The main point of contention concerns the validity of town residents who must have been registered and residing inside town limits by the deadline of Aug 4. The date of the public hearing, including sworn testimony and a court recorder, is pending.

In his letter to the McBee MEC dated Sept. 6, Odom contends certain absentee ballots should be accepted as the voters were fully moved in by Aug. 3. He also states others “were not allowed to vote even though they live in town limits.”

Odom is “also protesting the fact that (two) provisional ballot were allowed.”

He concludes, “These contested votes will affect the outcome of the election.”

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