- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 15, 2016

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A primary challenger formally requested a recount on Wednesday in his effort to unseat Republican U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger after provisional and absentee ballots reduced the incumbent’s slim lead.

Election night ended with the race between Pittenger and Mark Harris too close to call, and the margin shrank by a handful of votes after local elections officials completed their tallies on Tuesday. That count shows Pittenger edged Harris by 135 votes, or less than 1 percent of ballots cast, a margin allowing Harris to demand a recount.

Harris told supporters in an email that he believes it is “extremely important that every voter be confident that their vote has been counted and their voice has been heard.”

Harris, pastor of First Baptist Church in Charlotte, gave state election officials his written request on Wednesday, said State Board of Elections spokeswoman Jackie Hyland.

Pittenger has noted that today’s high-tech voting equipment usually prevents significant changes in the results. Recent North Carolina history has few instances of the election night outcome being flipped during a recount.

Pittenger’s campaign released a statement saying: “We have full confidence that a recount will not alter the course of this election.”

Court-ordered redistricting in February took Pittenger’s largely affluent Charlotte-area district that he first won in 2012 and moved it east toward poorer counties along the South Carolina border.

The winner faces Democrat Christian Cano in November.

A one-time change in state law eliminated runoffs in the congressional primaries this year.

The state’s other congressional primary that was initially too close to call, the 13th District Democratic race, ended with Bruce Davis maintaining a thin victory margin over Bob Isner. Isner said Wednesday he won’t ask for a recount.

“I’m fine with the results, and he won by 100 votes,” Isner said by phone.

Davis faces Republican nominee Ted Budd in November.

Meanwhile, Democrat Tom Hill filed a request for a recount in his 11th District primary in the western part of the state, Hyland said, even though Rick Bryson’s victory margin was more than the 1 percent of votes cast that would give Hill the right to a recount.

The Associated Press had declared Bryson the winner in the race to challenge Republican incumbent Mark Meadows in November.

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