As calls for North Carolina Republican Gov. Pat McCrory to concede the election to his Democratic challenger abound, the incumbent has instead officially filed for a recount of votes.
“As the second-place finisher in the preliminary results of that election, I note that the difference in the announced vote totals between the first and second place finishers was less than 10,000 votes and, thus, I am statutorily entitled to a recount of the announced votes,” McCrory said in a letter delivered Tuesday to the State Board of Elections.
“With serious concerns of potential voter fraud emerging across the state, it has become apparent that a thorough recount is one way the people of North Carolina can have confidence in the results, process and system,” he added.
McCrory trailed North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper by approximately 7,000 votes in the contentious race as of Tuesday.
But McCrory’s campaign told supporters over the weekend that it is simply in “overtime” as it alleges voter fraud in 50 of North Carolina’s 100 counties. The campaign is also contesting multiple individual votes before local election boards, including claims that felons, deceased people and people from outside the state voted in the governor’s election.
“With many outstanding votes yet to be counted for the first time, legal challenges, ballot protests and voter fraud allegations, we must keep open the ability to allow the established recount process to ensure every legal vote is counted properly,” campaign manager Russell Peck said in a statement, according to WTVD-TV.
But as the State Board of Elections met Tuesday to hold hearings on the allegations of voter fraud, Democratic lawmakers called for McCrory to concede.
“By any definition, Roy Cooper has won this election,” Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) told reporters Tuesday, adding that McCrory’s “creative methodology to challenge this election” is “reckless” and “frivolous.”
Republican President-elect Donald Trump defeated Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in North Carolina by nearly 200,000 votes, according to the State Board of Elections.
Multiple requests to McCrory’s campaign over the past several days have gone unreturned.