Alamance County Board of Elections polls closed at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 7 — with elections for municipalities in Alamance County. According to the board on Nov. 9, results will be unofficial until Nov. 17 at 11 a.m.
Results began coming in at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 7 with seats open for Burlington mayor, city of Burlington and town of Elon town councils and Town of Gibsonville positions.
The last update on the North Carolina State Board of Elections was at 9:03 p.m. Nov. 7 with 100% precincts reported.
Incumbent Jim Butler has a lead in the election for Burlington mayor with 51.68% of the votes, beating Beth Kennett who has 48.18% of the votes.
On Nov. 8, Kennett said she was proud of the community.
“Our community worked so hard to help me run this campaign,” Kennett said. “I have just really kind of been in a state of awe and feeling affirmed.”
She said she didn’t feel like she lost the election and said her campaign was about the community.
“It's not about me, it's about the community,” Kennett said. “I don't feel like I lost anything.”
Kennett also said she hopes more people will vote in local elections, as only 12.98% of ballots were cast for all registered voters. That is 9,153 out of 70,520 people.
“I really wish more people in the community would get out and vote in municipals, but I feel very proud of everybody,” Kennett said.
After polls had closed on Nov. 7 with results starting to come in, Butler said every vote matters.
“Municipal elections are always low-turnout, so every precinct matters,” Butler said. “I think it's not going to be safe to really feel one way or another until you see them all.”
Butler also said he and his family were confident in his campaign and supported him either way, though at the time Kennett had a narrow lead on Butler.
“This is the family thing for us. We feel very accomplished because we've had 16 years in public office,” Butler said. “I'm confident in my body of work, and hopefully as the rest of the polls come in that will resonate, but if not, then we'll certainly support Beth Kennett if she is the winner.”
Dejuana Bigelow and Bob Ward are the top two candidates for the City of Burlington council members election — with two open seats — with 30.01% and 28.91% of the votes, respectively. Charlie Beasley, third in the race, has 23.79% of the vote. Celo Faucette has 16.91%.
On Nov. 9, Bigelow — who would be the first Black woman to be elected to Burlington city council — said she was excited when her phone started ringing on the evening of Nov. 7.
“I was elated. I felt united. I felt heard,” Bigelow said. “I felt that our community definitely wants representation.”
She said her campaign goals aligned with Kennett’s.
“Our goals match. We love and we share the same goals for our community, a community where everybody is heard, everybody is counted and every resident is included,” Bigelow said. “it's not a monolithic city. Everybody has their own wants and needs and goals.”
On Nov. 7 as preliminary results came in — though ballots were still being counted — Beasley said he was “guardedly optimistic.”
For the Town of Elon council election — of which three seats are available — incumbent Quinn Ray has 36.91% of the vote, incumbent Monti Allison has 27.45% and Michael Woods has 26.29%. Sammerah Qawasmy, general manager of Elon’s MaGerk’s, has 8.64% of the vote.
On Nov. 7 after polls had closed, Ray said he felt confident as votes continued to be counted.
“I feel good that I'm going to win a seat,” Ray said. “Early voting is looking good, I'm the top vote getter for early voting, but I'm really anxious to see what happens when all the other results and precincts come in.”
Allison also said though results were preliminary early in the evening on Nov. 7, he felt optimistic on election night.
“You never know what's going to happen in an election,” Allison said. “But the top three vote getters will win one of the seats.”
Regardless of the outcome, Allison said he is proud of his campaign.
“I worked hard canvassing neighborhoods and meeting with our residents and businesses,” Allison said. “I feel good about what's happened today. I got to meet a lot of good people that came out and voted and I was pleased to see the turnout.”
Woods said he also felt confident as votes were being counted, and attended a gathering at the Acorn Inn the evening of Nov. 7 with other candidates.
“Everybody's excited that the results are coming in and it looks promising and we're excited about moving the community forward,” Woods said. “Let's just move forward and make Elon a shining college town.”
Leonard Williams — the only candidate for Gibsonville mayor — has 93.43% of the vote, while write-in candidates have 6.57%.
After polls had closed and ballots were still being counted, Williams said he was already excited to work with other town members and continue improving Gibsonville.
“I'm looking forward to working with the other board members so we can work out some things we're trying to do,” Williams said. “Gibsonville has grown and we have a lot to be built in the next three or four months.”
Ward and Qawasmy did not respond to Elon News Network’s multiple requests for comment.