Democrats and Republicans in this fiercely contested political battleground have regularly resorted to creative legal maneuvers and election-law changes in their efforts to wring every last vote from the state’s nearly seven million voters. But even by that standard, the disputed, hairbreadth race for governor is plowing litigious and acrimonious ground.
Scrambling to save the incumbent governor, Pat McCrory, Republicans said they were pursuing protests in about half of North Carolina’s 100 counties, alleging that fraud and technical troubles had pushed the Democratic nominee, Attorney General Roy Cooper, to a statewide lead of more than 6,500 votes. But Republican-controlled county elections boards, including one here in vote-rich Durham County, turned back some of the challenges on Friday.
The legal and political jockeying raised the specter of a recount, and it could ultimately climax in a political wild card: Mr. McCrory using a state law to contest the election in the state’s Republican-dominated General Assembly.