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James: Make sure votes counted

Alabama Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim James said Thursday he is awaiting the final vote count from Tuesday’s primary.

James lags about 200 votes behind state Rep. Robert Bentley in the vote count so far, with mainly provisional ballots left to be counted. In most cases, those ballots are cast when voters do not have proper ID at the polls. Bradley Byrne received the most votes in the primary to secure a spot in the July 13 runoff.

James urged voters who may have cast a provisional ballot to take their identification to their local Board of Registrars to make sure their votes are counted.

“Now is the time for the people of Alabama to make sure their vote has been counted,” James said. “There are an estimated 1,000 ballots that have yet to be counted. This race is still not settled.”

Voters who had provisional ballots must present their ID to their board of registrars by 5 p.m. Friday, James said.

“During the campaign, we brought up the issue of having a valid photo ID in order to vote,” James said. “We believe that it is an essential part of assuring the integrity of our election system.”

The final vote count will not be certified until next week. At that point, James or Bentley could request a recount, but the candidate requesting the recount has to foot the bill.

Bentley has claimed the second place spot in the primary.

“I am humbled and grateful to the people of Alabama for their support in the primary and for their belief that I could win,” he said in an e-mail Wednesday night. “I believe my success is due to my focus on putting Alabamians back to work, cleaning out Montgomery, and offering substantive solutions to Alabama’s problems. I couldn’t have done it without the grassroots support of Alabamians across the state, and I will continue to focus on these issues during the runoff.”

The winner of the GOP primary runoff will face Democrat Ron Sparks in the November general election.