RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — With so many races in North Carolina still too close to call, absentee ballots are likely to play a huge role in determining the outcome. So, how are those ballots counted and what steps are in place to ensure the information is accurate? CBS 17 did the research.
The North Carolina State Board of Election stressed Wednesday afternoon that it works hard to ensure every vote is counted. The pandemic hasn’t changed that. It has a system in place and they follow it closely.
This phase is what state officials call the post-election process. The focus remains on those county boards of election to review and count the remaining absentee and provisional ballots. That will happen at the next meeting, likely Nov. 12 or 13. Meetings are scheduled before the election and can’t be moved up.
These bipartisan boards review every absentee ballot, ensuring the information is correct and properly filled out.
The state confirmed there are just over 116,000 absentee ballots left. According to that data, 37 percent are Democratic, 23 percent Republican, and 39 percent unaffiliated.
The largest of these is in Wake and Mecklenburg counties. Election officials admit some of these people could have voted on Election Day. The county boards will have to update their records and compare the results.
They’ll also be conducting audits to verify results. They take place at the state and county level after every election. There are six types. It includes the sample audit, which compares machine counts to hand-to-eye counts. The voting sites where they take place are randomly selected.
County boards will then meet for the canvass next Friday. They’ll review their work, ensuring votes have been counted and tabulated correctly. Absentee ballots will officially be counted and all audits must be complete.
The NCSBE also does a canvass, which will happen on Nov. 24. This is where it certifies statewide results for all races.
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