LINCOLNVILLE — Small town politics will play out again after Charleston County election officials upheld a protest Friday of the Lincolnville mayoral race where the difference was just three votes.

Runner-up candidate Tyrone Aiken challenged the apparent victory by Charles Duberry on grounds three ballots were cast by people who were not eligible. The race was tight Tuesday with an 88 to 85 separation.

Election officials upheld his protest, said Joseph Debney, executive director of the county Board of Elections and Voter Registration.

Duberry can appeal the decision to either a circuit court or the State Election Commission in Columbia.

Duberry, a member of the Town Council, said Friday he would appeal and planned to hire an attorney first.

It is not clear how soon a new election might be held. Lincolnville is sandwiched between North Charleston and Summerville.