Canvass reveals no city election changes

By Tom Joyce - [email protected]

DOBSON — The 2015 Mount Airy municipal election held on Nov. 3 is now officially one for the books, due to a canvass that has certified the results.

The canvass, a meticulous re-checking of the figures conducted Tuesday by the Surry County Board of Elections, resulted in no changes in the outcomes of any of the four non-partisan races on the ballot.

In most cases, candidates on the winning end — including three incumbent members of the city board of commissioners and Mayor-elect David Rowe — saw their margins of victory increase with the final vote totals reported after the canvass.

Only a small number of discrepancies were uncovered during the process, according to Susan Jarrell, director of the board of elections, which is governed by a three-member group.

“The board approved, opened and added three supplemental absentee-by-mail ballots that were postmarked by Election Day and received by our office by 5 p.m. on the sixth, and seven valid provisional ballots,” Jarrell explained. She added that “the count is now official.”

Final results now show David Rowe with 929 votes (seven more than were reported on Election Night), compared to 545 for his opponent, Commissioner Steve Yokeley, also the city’s mayor pro tem. The end of the canvass showed Yokeley picking up three extra votes in his unsuccessful bid to fill the unexpired term of Deborah Cochran, who resigned in March with more than two years of her term remaining.

South Ward Commissioner Shirley Brinkley’s final total is 709 (eight more than originally announced), with two write-in challengers, Joe Reid and Bill Clark, receiving a total of 693, two more than the write-in total announced on Election Night.

Reid then was reported to have received 631 votes and Clark 27, with 33 additional “miscellaneous” write-in votes noted. The final breakdown released after the canvass does not list individual totals for Reid and Clark.

Meanwhile, North Ward Commissioner Dean Brown finished with 862 votes (a gain of six from Election Night) and challenger N.A. Barnes, 581, a gain of three votes for him.

At-Large Commissioner Jim Armbrister’s final total is 834 (a five-vote gain from Nov. 3) and that for challenger Jerry Taylor, 612, also five-vote increase from before.

A small number of write-in votes, averaging about 10 per contest, were cast in the Rowe-Yokeley, Brown-Barnes and Armbrister-Taylor races.

Commissioner Shirley Brinkley was happy about the canvass results Wednesday.

Brinkley said the proof is now in the pudding regarding the election results.

“It was close, but I’m glad it’s over,” she said.

Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.

By Tom Joyce

[email protected]


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