And You Thought Election 2004 Was Over?

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

And You Thought Election 2004 Was Over?

From the Associated Press:
The school year is ending, Election Day was seven months ago, and the race for North Carolina school superintendent has yet to be decided. A legal battle is raging over at least 11,000 provisional ballots, leaving the superintendent's job the last statewide or federal post in the nation on last fall's ballot to be filled.

"These things usually have a short life. This has taken a new life of its own," said Gary Bartlett, executive director of the State Board of Elections. "This will certainly be a law professor's dream."

... Democrat June Atkinson has scolded Republican Bill Fletcher for keeping her from taking office as the chief executive of North Carolina's 1.4-million student school system.

"He has shown a disrespect for North Carolina's children by denying the inevitable and being a sore loser," Atkinson said. "Bill Fletcher has failed to use two important words that should be in his vocabulary -- 'I concede."'

Fletcher, who trails by 8,535 votes out of more than 3.3 million cast, does not apologize for that legal fight that even has some fellow Republicans privately questioning why the election has dragged on.

"We filed this protest based on principle and the principles haven't changed," Fletcher said. "We've never dreamed it would go on this long."

... Atkinson was never sworn in. The North Carolina Supreme Court blocked her inauguration even though the State Board of Elections declared her the winner in late November.

The superintendent's race could finally end in the coming weeks. A panel in the Democratic-controlled legislature is collecting evidence and the outcome of the contest will be voted on by the whole General Assembly ...

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