- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 8, 2020

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A Republican primary for a North Carolina county commissioner’s seat will get a do-over in June because a handful of ballots were cast by voters ineligible to vote in the race.

The State Board of Elections voted unanimously on Tuesday to order a new election in the Columbus County commissioner’s race for June 23.

The March 3 primary results showed Mack Ward leading Chris Smith by four votes in the three-candidate race. But race audits revealed 10 voters received a ballot style on the primary day that included the race when they’re weren’t qualfied to vote in it, the state board said.

Removing those ballots could have changed the outcome. But since ballots cast on the day of the election can’t be linked back to individual voters, the true vote tallies are unknown.

All three primary candidates — Ward, Smith and Bernard White — will be on the ballot again. Only qualified Republican voters and the unaffiliated voters that didn’t vote in another party’s primary in March will be able to participate in the June primary.

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