RALEIGH — With apparent exasperation, the state Board of Elections on Monday ordered the results of the March Pembroke election certified, denying an appeal by candidate Allen Dial that the election once again be redone.
The decision means Pembroke will soon have a mayor for the first time since April 2015, when Milton Hunt, who had been mayor for decades, died.
State board members and Robeson County elections officials reviewed Dial’s appeal for about 30 minutes during a telephone conference.
In late August, Dial filed the protest again, challenging the results of the mayoral race, saying the Robeson County Board of Elections “failed to complete duties assigned by the North Carolina Board of Elections.”
The March election, held as a do-over of an election in November, showed Dial trailing his opponent, Greg Cummings.
Board Chairman A. Grant Whitney Jr. on Monday gave each side’s attorney three minutes to make their case and “not one second more.”
After the March primary, Dial challenged the eligibility of about 30 voters. It was discovered that there was a discrepancy between what the county and the town consider to be Pembroke’s border and four voters’ ballots were removed from the vote count.
Cummings remained the winner by a vote of 351 to Dial’s 343.
State board members on Monday moved that there was not enough evidence to merit another election and voted unanimously that the most recent results of the race be certified.
G.L. Pridgen, director of county elections board, said his office is awaiting documentation from the state board before it can name Cummings’ the winner.
“They’re wanting it done as soon as possible,” he said.