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Jacobs, Reckhow, Carter, Howerton, Hill take BOCC lead; Unruhe wins BOE

With all 57 precincts' tallies in, the unofficial Durham County Board of Elections results are in.

And it looks like two newcomers to the County Commission will take their seats after the general election in the fall.

Heidi Carter (third place) and James Hill (fifth place) have bested incumbents Michael Page (sixth) and Fred Foster (eighth) to join the county board.

Wendy Jacobs just edged Ellen Reckhow for the purely-symbolic first place win, while incumbent Brenda Howerton retained her seat with a fourth place finish.

The race for fifth wasn't settled until all the ballots were in -- Hill held a 1,200 to 1,400 point lead throughout most of the evening as returns came in. 

Hill and challenger Elaine Hyman, both People's Alliance endorsees, saw small surges when PA strongholds in west and southwest Durham reported in the late evening hours, but at night's end, Page retained a sixth-place finish and Howerton bested Hill by a little over 1,300 votes, though she trailed Carter by about 2,700 votes.

Meanwhile, veteran Riverside High teacher Steve Unruhe coasted to a win over Fredrick Ravin III, 62% to 37%.

Technically, these results are still unofficial; we wouldn't expect to see them change in the final tally, though we'll be interested to see if the impact of voter ID led to any greater numbers of provisional ballots than usual.

And, questions still remain as to the presence of very long lines at Forest View and especially the South Regional Library, where several hundred voters waited for hours past the 7:30 polls closing time, per this story in the Herald-Sun.

It's not clear that delays were universal -- when I went to my precinct at the Durham School of the Arts right at 5 p.m., I was in and out in five minutes -- making it all the more important to understand if equipment challenges, differential voter turnout or some other cause drove the delays.



We were in line, chatting, and voting for all of 10 minutes at Main Library right after lunch.

Will Wilson

Lines at North Regional Library were about an hour to an hour and a half long from early afternoon on to closing.

Kevin Davis

@Will, Natalie -- interesting. I wonder what the voter loads/precinct membership numbers are and how evenly spaced they are.

Dave Neill

Lines at Triangle Presbyterian were laughably long throughout the day, culminating in 90 minute+ waits reported after 5:00 p.m.

This seems to have had nothing to do with crowds, per se, but rather the asinine "efficiency" of using 2 computers to replace the 4-6 books of prior elections. Example: The line to walk into the gymnasium was 15 deep at 10:00 am. Surprisingly, inside the gymnasium, there were no more than five voters total -- together with numerous empty voting enclosures.

November should be interesting...


fwiw the Morehead Montessori opened at exactly 630am to an immediate scramble for about 10 minutes until one of the two printers started to work. it wasn't particularly encouraging

Brian Hawkins

Wow, glad I voted last week then. (There was no wait at the South Regional Library at lunchtime last Tuesday.)

I drove by my precinct (the DCo Ag Building) at about 6:30 last night...it looked busy-ish but certainly no line outside the building.

Will Wilson

Just download a vote result from Durham BOE; it lists precinct data. High populations (precinct #, population, precinct name): 5-7810-Patterson Rec; 23-6082-Holt; (30-2)-7016-Southern HS; 35.3-7945-Parkwood; 43-6739-Forest View; 44-6593-North Library; 54-7027-South Library. Small pop precincts (precinct #, population): 01-1333, 04-1706, 12-850, 26-1482, 42-1430, 48-1904. Lots of variability.

Jeff Bakalchuck

I voted around noon at Club Blvd Elementary and there was no line. I only saw one other voter there.
Of course, time of day probably was the big factor there.


We voted at Rogers-Herr at 4:30 and got there before the rush. Took about 2 minutes to get through the door and out in another 5. Don't know if there were long lines later but it seemed easy for us. I assume Durham allocates a proportional number of staff for the population of a voting pricinct?


We voted at the VFW Post 2740 on 3705 Dearborn Drive and it was exasperating and uncomfortably hot. There were two lines with volunteers using 2 computers. The lady checking the IDs on the left line was amazingly fast. We had the bad luck of being on the right line that barely moved forward because we got the "slow lady". I think better training of poll workers is essential and if one can't handle the work, there needs to be a backup so they can be replaced. Maybe we should go to the European model of voting day duty, similar to jury duty.


Wait time was about an hour in the evening at Southwest Elementary.

Carol Henderson

Jeff, I think a lot of voting at Club Elementary did take place later. It was quiet at 2:00. Early evening cars were surrounding the school and part of the park.

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