Official results of the North Carolina agriculture commissioner race are still unknown, according to published reports.

Both candidates protested lost ballots in Cateret County, N.C.

Election workers pored again over the 3 million-plus ballots more than two weeks after the Nov. 2 election amid protests.

State law allows recounts of a statewide race when the margin is no more than 0.5 percent of the total votes cast, or 10,000 votes, whichever is less.

State election officials were then to decide whether to call an unprecedented statewide re-vote in the ag commissioner’s race and the superintendent of public instruction’s race.

North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Britt Cobb, a Democrat, protested the election in Cateret County. A machine in the coastal county failed to register 4,438 early ballots and then lost them for good.

Unofficial results showed Republican Steve Troxler led by 2,656.

Cobb, the incumbent, said the lost votes cast “doubt” on the “apparent results of the protested election.”

In a published report, Troxler said he was confident of holding the advantage. He was passing the time working on his farm and keeping supporters updated on his campaign’s Web site.