When the last ballot was counted, Carter had 39,883 votes to 39,352 for Diane Hamby, a margin of just 531. Those returns were unofficial, however, and close enough to allow Hamby to call for a recount. In addition, they did not include provisional ballots. These will not be counted until the 12 county boards of election in the Fifth District meet next Tuesday.
On Wednesday, the Carter campaign was claiming victory. But Hamby was not ready to concede, and indicated she would seek a recount if the margin in the final tally was less than one percent. At present, Carter’s margin is six-tenths of one percent.
The mood was tense Tuesday evening at Ashe County Democratic headquarters where Carter had planned a victory celebration. His staffers looked concerned, and the candidate himself seemed somewhat shaken by the closeness of the vote.
Carter carried the western half of the district, winning his home county of Ashe by a wide 2,960-1,072 margin. But Hamby scored strongly in the counties along the eastern edge, winning her home county of Iredell by 6,221 to 3,080. Forsyth County, critical to any candidate in the Fifth, went to Hamby by 13,758 to 12, 685 votes. In the other counties, the final, unofficial, results were:
Alexander: Carter, 2101; Hamby, 1880
Alleghany: Carter, 986; Hamby, 798
Davie: Carter, 1743; Hamby, 1838
Rockingham: Carter, 569; Hamby, 595
Stokes: Carter, 2576; Hamby, 2309
Surry: Carter, 4291; Hamby, 3774
Watauga: Carter, 3914; Hamby, 2683
Wilkes: Carter, 3648; Hamby, 2923
Yadkin: Carter, 1330; Hamby, 1501.