By Sonny Jones
Write-in Richard Sibbett won the seat held by incumbent Dublin commissioner Jeffrey Smith following the vote canvass Tuesday morning by the Bladen County Board of Elections.
Sibbett received 19 of the 21 write-in ballots cast during the Nov. 2 municipal election, according to the canvass held at the Board of Elections office in Elizabethtown. Smith had a provisional vote added to his official total and finished with 12 votes.
Sibbett will be offered the seat on the three-member board. If he declines, then Smith would return to the board, according to Bladen County Elections Supervisor Chris Williams.
Former Dublin Mayor Horace Wyatt received 11 votes as a write-in. Alex Hursey, the lone declared candidate, won with 20 votes. Mayor Darryl Dowless chose not to run for re-election.
In East Arcadia, write-in Lillian Graham, who received 12 votes, will be offered a seat on the three-member board. The lone declared candidate, Pamela Graham, retained her seat with 46 votes.
In Tar Heel, two write-ins will be offered seats on the Board of Commissioners, according to the canvass. Steve Dowless was the lone declared candidate and received the most votes with 17. Derek Druzak with 11 votes and Angie Hall with seven votes received the most write-in votes among the 23 cast. If either or both write-in winner decline a seat, then the Tar Heel board will appoint a commissioner, Williams said.
Prior to the final results being announced, the elections board, in unanimous votes, approved an absentee ballot that had arrived on election day and, by state law, treated as a supplemental ballot and also approved 16 of 23 provisional ballots cast.
With one Democrat and one Republican elections board member watching, Williams fed the approved ballots into a machine, then added those votes to the final tally. Patricia Sheppard represented the Democrats and Michael Aycock represented the Republicans during the feeding of the votes. Aycock and Democrat Deborah Belle were present during the vote tally.
None of the added votes changed outcomes in any races.
Here are the final official results of the November municipal elections in Bladen County. Any write-in receiving five or more votes is reported to the State Board of Elections.
Mayor: David Hales 185, Joey Todd 78, Sue Elkins Hester 51, Write-ins 0.
Commissioner (3 seats): Jeff Atkinson 247, Gregory Sykes 219, Blake Proctor 162, Lisa Levy 109, Write-ins 11.
Commissioner (2 seats): Stephen Wayne Hester 25, Jerome Myers 25, Write-ins 1.
Mayor: Alex Hursey 20, Horace Wyatt (write-in) 11, Other write-ins 1.
Commissioner (1 seat): Richard Sibbett (write-in) 19, Jeffrey Smith 12, Other write-ins 2.
Commissioner (2 seats): Pamela Graham 46, Lilliam Graham (write-in) 12, Other write-ins 2.
Council (3 seats): Paula Greene 525, Rufus Lloyd 520, Herman Lewis 512, Ilka Huntley McElveen 243, Harfel Davis 185, William Moore 180, Write-ins 9.
Council (unexpired term): Rich Glenn 160, Write-ins 9.
Mayor: Sam Allen 16, Write-Ins 1.
Commissioner (3 seats): Steve Dowless 17, Derek Druzak (write-in) 11, Angie Hall (write-in) 7, Other write-ins 5.
Commissioner (3 seats): Mike Suggs 170, Paul Evans 160, Tim Blount 156, Write-ins 5.
Mixed Beverage: For 133, Against 68.