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Meads likely to seek recount

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Rodney Meads, R, Camden County Sheriff (interim sheriff) The Camden County Senior Center hosted a Brunch With the Candidates question and answer forum at the center on Saturday, April 14, 2018. Each candidate and the seat he or she is seeking is included with the photo caption. D. Cole Phelps, a Democrat candidate for NC Senate District 1 was unable to attend the brunch. John Morrison, the county attorney, served as the events moderator.

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By Reggie Ponder
Staff Writer

Friday, May 18, 2018

CAMDEN — Camden Sheriff Rodney Meads said Thursday he is likely to request a recount of the votes cast in the May 8 Republican primary for sheriff after the county Board of Elections completes its canvass of the election today.

Meads, who lost his bid for election to N.C. Highway Patrol Trooper Kevin Jones in last Tuesday’s election, was trailing Jones by eight votes as of Thursday afternoon. The initial unofficial returns on Tuesday, May 8, showed Jones prevailing by just six votes: 574 to 568.

By Thursday the county elections office had counted three additional ballots, two of which were absentee ballots received by mail within the legal time period and the other a valid provisional ballot. The additional ballots gave Jones an eight-vote edge in the sheriff’s race.

In order for Meads to request a recount the difference between his and Jones’ vote totals must be less than 1 percent of the total votes cast in the primary for sheriff. The 1 percent figure will be determined after the Camden Board of Elections’ canvass of the primary election, which is slated for today at 11 a.m.

Barring unforeseen changes, the eight-vote margin will be narrow enough for Meads to be eligible to request a recount.

Meads said Thursday he has not completely made up his mind about requesting a recount but is leaning toward asking for one. If he does, he said. he expects to submit the request by 5 p.m. today.

“I’m not going to wait until Monday,” Meads said, though officially he has until 5 p.m. that day to request a recount.

Jones said he was encouraged by picking up two votes in the latest count.

“Anytime you pick up votes it’s encouraging,” Jones said. “But it’s still a close race even with eight votes.”

Jones said he assumed Meads would probably call for a recount if today’s canvass confirms that he’s eligible to.

“I’m just waiting to see what happens,” Jones said.

Meads, who was appointed sheriff by Camden commissioners following the retirement of longtime Democratic Sheriff Tony Perry, won the early vote and absentee voting by 38 votes. However, Jones swept all three Camden precincts on election day on the way to his narrow victory.

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