One of the most closely watched gubernatorial elections this year has been between incumbent Republican North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory and Democratic North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper. The race is widely seen as a referendum on North Carolina’s infamous House Bill 2, which reversed ordinances enacted by progressive North Carolina cities to protect the LGBTQ community from discrimination and to allow transgender people to use the public restroom that matches their gender identity rather than biological sex. McCrory rammed the law through the North Carolina legislature in a special session he called specifically to pass the measure. Apparently there was an emergency need to do some discrimination. McCrory has steadfastly defended the law despite national criticism.
Because North Carolina’s idiotic gay discrimination law has been roundly condemned by everyone except VP-Elect Mike Pence and his ilk, North Carolina has lost literally hundreds of millions of dollars because organizations like the NCAA do not think we are endangering our WIVES AND DAUGHTERS by allowing transgender women to poop in the ladies’ room. Instead, these businesses and organizations think it’s an embarrassment to legislatively approve homophobic discrimination of all types.
Donald J. Trump handily won North Carolina (with a margin of over 200,000 votes) but it seems that at least some Trump voters are not gay-haters after all. With most of the vote tallied, Cooper is ahead of McCrory by about 5,000 votes, although there remain about 50,000 provisional ballots to be examined and, if valid, counted.
Naturally enough, McCrory and the North Carolina GOP plan to demand a recount and contest the election to the last ballot, Bush v. Gore hanging-chad style. (If you don’t get that last reference, ask your mom). According to the local Durham ABC affiliate:
The general counsel for the state Republican Party has filed a formal complaint in North Carolina’s tight governor’s race demanding that 90,000 Durham County ballots be recounted by hand in part because tabulations were manually entered into the state election system by local officials on election night with “bleary eyes and tired hands.”
Attorney Thomas Stark asked in the protest with the Durham County Board of Elections to recount the ballots before the county’s canvass this coming week. Republican Gov. Pat McCrory’s campaign released Saturday a copy of the protest, which was filed and signed Friday by the interim director of the Durham board.
Stark, who didn’t identify himself as the GOP general counsel in the complaint, says an error in tabulation machines that scan ballots caused memory cards to fail, prompting officials to transcribe results into the state system.
The original statewide count shows Democrat Roy Cooper ahead of McCrory by 5,000 votes. But at least 50,000 provisional ballots still must be examined. Counties must submit their final results by Nov. 18.
We’ve seen a lot of election legal challenges, but the “bleary eyes and tired hands” argument might be the silliest one we’ve ever seen. The manual recount is not likely to change the result by 5,000, which is a narrow but significant margin.
If Cooper wins, let’s hope his first act as governor is to demand that the legislature repeal the homophobic House Bill 2.