Protest, residency challenge in sheriff's race to be heard

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — An election protest in a still-unresolved North Carolina sheriff's race will be heard after all.

The State Board of Elections told the Columbus County elections board to conduct a hearing soon on allegations from Democratic Party official Gloria Smith. News outlets report the Columbus board dismissed Smith's protest earlier because she checked the wrong box on a form.

The state board voted 3-2 on Thursday to also direct Columbus officials to examine Smith's allegation that Republican Jody Greene didn't meet candidate residency requirements.

Greene was sworn in as sheriff after a recount showed him 37 votes ahead of Democratic incumbent Lewis Hatcher. The state board wouldn't authorize November's result because time for appeals hadn't ended. Neither candidate now runs day-to-day sheriff's department operations while awaiting a final result.

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