Out of 101 provisional votes, only 58 counted across the county
In the end, the Waxhaw election came down to four votes. Three illegal, one legit.
After the four provisional ballots had been counted, Martin Lane tied Sean Poccia for the second of two open seats on the Waxhaw town council. Three of the ballots didn’t count however, as the voters never registered. That left Poccia the winner by a three vote margin and ready to move on.
“It’s almost like you’re in limbo,” Poccia said, talking about the recount. “You want to plan, but you don’t know if that will still be your seat.”
Only seven votes separated the last three candidates, in competition for the second open seat on the council. Incumbent Phillip Gregory asked for a recount, which the Board of Elections conducted Tuesday, Nov. 15.
The final total places Poccia with 450 votes, Lane with 447 and Phillip Gregory with 443. Mike Stewart overwhelmingly won the other open seat, taking 30 percent of the vote or 587 ballots.
Poccia said he appreciated every voter who came out in support of his campaign and looked forward to his first council meeting.
“I’m looking forward to working on some of the operational improvements I mentioned during the campaign,” Poccia said. That includes the possibility of streaming council meetings live on the internet and working on a strategy to develop Waxhaw’s identity.
Lane, the current mayor pro tem, said he wasn’t surprised by the final numbers, as the Board of Elections officials had told him its very rare for any races to change in a recount.
“I’m definitely disappointed,” Lane said. “I felt like I represented what the people wanted. I guess I was wrong.”
If the race had ended in a tie, state law calls for the Board of Elections to make a random drawing, to select the winner.
Stewart meanwhile said he was surprised and encouraged by the number of people who voted for him.
“No matter how much work you put in, you always feel you could have done more,” Stewart said. “For me, the campaign really got me out of my comfort zone, which is a good thing.”
Stewart said he looked forward to working with Poccia and the rest of the council.
Provisional ballots come in
Election officials examined 101 provisional ballots Tuesday morning, with just more than half counting in any races.
“We found 43 provisional ballots where the people weren’t registered in Union County,” Board of Elections official Vicki Deese said. “We had two that were not American citizens. We had some who lived in Mecklenburg County.”
Out of the 101, Union County officials certified 58 additional ballots, mostly in Indian Trail. The additional balance did not affect any races. Newly elected Indian Trail mayor Michael Alvarez collected the most extra votes, picking up 15 from the provisional count. His opponent, current Indian Trail mayor pro tem Jeff Goodall, picked up an additional nine.