PEMBROKE — Allen Dial has no plans to appeal a ruling by the North Carolina Board of Elections denying his request for a new mayoral election in Pembroke and that the results from the vote in March be certified.
According to G.L. Pridgen, director of the Robeson County Board of Elections, Dial has 10 days from the time the state notifies all participants in the case to appeal the state board’s Monday ruling in Wake County Superior Court. Pridgen said that as of Wednesday he had not received the documentation necessary before he and Steve Stone, the county board’s chairman, can sign certify the election and make Greg Cummings mayor of Pembroke, which would end nearly 11 months of election challenges, hearings and waiting.
The documentation should be available this week, Pridgen said.
If Dial does not appeal the state board’s decision, Pembroke next month will have a mayor for the first time since April 2015, when longtime Mayor Milton Hunt died.
Dial told The Robesonian he felt the county Board of Elections was inconsistent in how it determined some voters who cast ballots in the race were ineligible.
“I’m burnt out,” Dial said. “There is no consistency. They treated voters differently.
“… They should get rid of the whole board. … When I see so much inconsistency it seems like it would be beating a dead horse to death to continue.”
In late August, Dial filed with Robeson County elections officials a 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 the election in November, showed Dial trailing Cummings.
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 considered 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.
“It’s been a long, learning journey for me,” said Cummings, a former member of the Pembroke Town Council and the current economic developer for Robeson County. “When I started my campaign on July 4, 2015, I had no idea it would be 14 months later before it ended. I’m glad this is over and it excites me that I will finally be able to work with the members of the council to move Pembroke forward.
“This election was all about the people and I ran a fair and honest campaign,” he said. “I feel it is a great honor to be able to work with the council and other town officials to continue moving Pembroke forward in strengthening the retail and economic growth of the town. I am also looking forward to strengthening the relationship between the town and The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.”