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NC House candidates tied up after canvass; recount next

June 1, 2022 GMT

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Election officials in a western North Carolina county prepared for a recount of a state House primary in which complete results show the two candidates with exactly the same number of votes.

Results from the May 17 Republican primary for the 115th House District nomination have Pratik Bhakta and Sherry M. Higgins each receiving 3,145 votes.

The 50-50 split followed tabulations during last week’s Buncombe County canvass of in-person, traditional absentee and provisional ballots. State law directs a recount now must be performed. That is set to begin Wednesday morning, Buncombe elections director Corinne Duncan said.

If the election remains tied after the recount, Bhakta and Higgins will participate in a runoff July 26, unless one of them decides to withdraw. Should the runoff also result in a tie, then Buncombe County Republican Party activists would choose a nominee.

The GOP nominee will take on Democratic candidate Lindsey Prather in the November general election.