Town Council newcomers Matthew Neal and Elizabeth Morey won resounding victories in yesterday’s election of three Council seats, receiving nearly 900 votes each.

Former Town Councilman Leo Holland, with 625 votes, won the third seat.

Incumbent Councilman Fred Newberry placed fourth with 508 places. Thirty-four write-in votes were also cast.

Mr. Neal is a Southern Shores native and local builder, and Ms. Morey is a self-employed political consultant who has been a member of the Town Planning Board for eight years. She currently serves as Board chairperson.

The percentage of the total votes cast and the number of votes received by each candidate were as follows:

Neal: 30.39% (896 votes)

Morey: 30.023% (885 votes)

Holland: 21.20% (625 votes)

Newberry: 17.23% (508 votes)

Write-in: 1.15% (34 votes)

By now all of you probably know the election results. I was victimized by a computer crash and other IT problems last night–during and after an election party–and could not post the vote totals last night, as promised. I apologize. The results were available within minutes after the polls closed at 7:30 p.m.

According to the N.C. State Board of Elections, the voter turnout in Dare County was 26 percent. As soon as I know the turnout in Southern Shores, I will publish it.

The State Board did report that of Mr. Neal’s 896 votes, 637 were cast on Election Day; 255 were cast in one-stop “early” voting; and four arrived by mailed-in absentee ballots. The comparable figures for the other three candidates are as follows:

Morey: 885; 612 (Election Day); 269 (early); four (by mail);

Holland: 625; 434 (Election Day); 191 (early); zero (by mail);

Newberry: 508; 386 (Election Day); 116 (early); six (by mail);

Write-in: 34; 26 (Election Day); seven (early); one (by mail).

No candidates running in a contested Southern Shores Town Council election have ever polled numbers as high as Mr. Neal and Ms. Morey did. The vote totals for all of the candidates were unusually high.

I would guesstimate that the turnout, counting all methods of voting, was somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,050 to 1,100 people. When I obtained a count about 3:30 p.m. on Election Day, 617 people had voted on-site. That number, combined with the 304 people reported to have voted early, brought the turnout total to over 900. According to two of the candidates, voters trickled off in the late hours after the rains arrived.

Everyone on The Beacon advisory board and I congratulate the three winners and wish them well during their four-year terms, which start in December.

DON’T FORGET: The Town Council will meet today, 5:30 p.m., in the Pitts Center for its regularly scheduled monthly meeting. See The Beacon’s report on 11/4/19 for a preview of the agenda. 

Ann G. Sjoerdsma, 11/6/19



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