Archived News

Four uncounted ballots could break Sylva election tie

Four uncounted ballots could break Sylva election tie

Unofficial tallies show a total of four uncounted ballots at play in the Sylva town elections going into the final vote count, which will begin at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 15, at the Jackson County Board of Elections Office on Skyland Drive.

There were three town board seats up for election in this year’s election, with Commissioner David Nestler coming in first with 155 votes. However, the second through fourth-place finishers were much closer together, with Commissioner Greg McPherson drawing 110 votes and challengers Carrie McBane and Ben Guiney tying with 106 votes, according to Election Day totals.

Those numbers did not include provisional ballots, which are votes that are set aside for later verification when there is a question about the voter’s eligibility to participate in a given election. They also excluded two curbside ballots cast during early voting.

Since Election Day Nov. 7, the elections office has conducted research into the provisional ballots, of which there were eight cast in the Sylva polling place. Two of those eight ballots are recommended for approval, with the remaining six ballots not recommended for approval. Adding in the uncounted curbside votes, a total of four ballots have yet to be counted.

That means that McPherson is likely to rejoin the board, because he is already four votes ahead of the candidates tied for third and fourth place. However, those ballots could easily break the tie between Guiney and McBane. If a tie remains after election results are certified, the winner will be determined with a coin flip.

The provisional ballot list is unofficial until the board reviews and votes on it. The canvass process to certify final vote totals is expected to last two to four hours after its start at 11 a.m.

Leave a comment

Smokey Mountain News Logo
Go to top
Payment Information


At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.