Saturday, April 13, 2024

Nelson Beaulieu prevails in full hand-to-eye recount by 2 votes

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — School board candidate Nelson Beaulieu has secured his spot on the general election ballot after a full hand-to-eye recount.

The North Carolina State Board of Elections ordered the New Hanover County Board of Elections to review all ballots by hand in the board of education Democratic contest after results from a sample recount, ordered by Beaulieu, indicated a full recount could flip the outcome.

Election officials started Wednesday and wrapped up earlier than expected Thursday.

In the end, Beaulieu scored 7,376 votes and his opponent Jennah Bosch earned 7,374 votes. While she could not start the recount process over again, Bosch could file an election protest within 24 hours “if the protest relates to the conduct of the recount,” but said she would not do so.

“I was there both days and saw the job they did with displaying both pride and integrity,” she said. “There is nothing to question there. And I have nothing but admiration, respect and thankfulness for the job they did as well as for the Board of Elections staff, board and volunteers.”

Originally, Beaulieu was the fourth prevailing nominee on election night, surpassing Bosch by three votes. Bosch moved two votes ahead during the canvass. As a result of the initial recount, the outcomes changed: Bosch at 7,373 votes and Beaulieu at 7,371, as opposed to the post-canvass totals of 7,375 and 7,373, respectively.

“I was hesitant to do a recount,” Beaulieu said. “I’m glad that I ended up doing so because I really do believe that every vote counts and sometimes after the first tally, you don’t encapsulate every vote.”

Beaulieu, a sitting board member, will face off in the eight-person school board race this November against fellow Democrats Judy Justice, Dorian Cromartie and Veronica McLaurin-Brown and Republicans Pat Bradford, Melissa Mason, Josie Barnhart and Pete Wildeboer. Wildeboer and Justice are also incumbents.

This article was updated to include comments from Bosch.

Reach journalist Alexandria Sands at or @alexsands_

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Alexandria Sands
Alexandria Sands
Alexandria Sands is a journalist covering New Hanover County and education. Before Port City Daily, she reported for the award-winning State Port Pilot in Southport. She graduated from UNC Charlotte and wrote for several Charlotte publications while there. When not writing, Williams is most likely in the gym, reading or spending time with her Golden Pyrenees. Reach her at or on Twitter @alexsands_

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