Elaine McNeil Collins
Anita Hammonds-Blanks was unofficially re-elected to the District 9 seat on the Lumbee Tribal Council on Tuesday, according to the unofficial results.
Blanks received 218 votes and her challenger, Elaine McNeil Collins, received 204 votes.
Collins has five business days to file an appeal, according to Sheila Beck-Jones, chairwoman of the Tribal Election Board.
If Collins doesn’t challenge the results, then the race could be certified next week.
Jones said there are 20 provisional ballots that were not counted and an additional 11 ballots that were deemed spoiled.
District 9 includes the Saddletree Community. Blanks has served on the council since 2013. Blanks currently serves as chairman of the Tribal Council’s Housing and Constitution committees.
The Election Board ordered a new election after it determined that four tribal members voted out of district during the November 17 election. Collins won that race by two votes 199 to 197.
An automatic recount was held because tribal election law requires it if the vote difference between two candidates is within a range of 1 percent of the total number of ballots cast. After the recount, the count was 200 for Collins and 197 for Blanks.
Collins petitioned the Tribal Supreme Court to place an injunction on a new election. Collins said Blanks did not provided sufficient evidence to prove any irregularities in the Nov. 17 election.
The court denied Collins’ request.