ATLANTIC BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — It was a rollercoaster ride during Atlantic Beach’s hourslong vote certification on Thursday.
The mayoral race, which appeared to have a clear winner in Josephine Isom on Tuesday night, now may be flipped upside down. And somehow, a recount of about 130 votes was unable to be finalized on Thursday.
Carla Taylor and Jacqui Gore will be filling the two town council seats and will not need a runoff, despite election commission chairman Joe Montgomery saying he thought there would be. However, for mayor, we still don’t have a decision despite hours of challenges and recounts.
Originally, 18 total ballots from both races were challenged at vote certification on Thursday. 15 of them were challenged by Irene Armstrong, two were challenged by Eric Louis and one was challenged by Gore.
Most of the challenges accused voters of not being town residents, but after showing the council their voters registration along with licenses and house bills, they were all approved.
However, Gore and Armstrong each withdrew a challenge because they were frustrated with the commission approving the voters that they think aren’t residents.
After going through all of the challenges, the commission retallied the votes.
For council, Gore received 71 votes, while Taylor received 69. Unofficial results originally had Gore receiving 69 votes and Taylor receiving 53.
For mayor, though, there was a big change in numbers from Tuesday. Unofficial results showed Isom grabbed 62 votes out of 111. That was 13 more than her competition, John David.
However, after Thursday’s recount, David got 65 out of 129 votes, just one more than Isom.
“I feel good. I’m happy that we have more votes than the other team,” David said. “I’m hopeful that we’ll get more votes if we have a runoff and we’ll keep at it.”
Isom told News13 she had no comment at this time. The recount of about 130 mayoral votes couldn’t be finalized Thursday because one of the commissioners said he was hungry and another had an afternoon appointment.
The recount tomorrow is set for 10 a.m. at the Atlantic Beach Community Center.
* * *
Jackie LiBrizzi is a multimedia journalist at News13. Jackie is originally from Hamilton, New Jersey, and was raised in Piedmont, South Carolina. Jackie joined the News13 team in June 2023 after she graduated as a student-athlete from the University of South Carolina in May 2023. Follow Jackie on X, formerly Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, and read more of her work here.