Absentee and provisional ballots could impact the outcome of NC elections
By Jon Evans | November 5, 2020 at 1:08 PM EST – Updated November 5 at 11:36 PM
RALEIGH, N.C. (WECT) – The North Carolina State Board of Elections on Thursday released a county-by-county breakdown of provisional ballots cast by voters on Election Day. Under state law, the NCSBE must release the numbers by noon two days after the election.
Provisional ballots are cast when an individual’s name does not appear on the poll book or other questions arise about that person’s eligibility to vote or to vote a particular ballot. They must be researched to determine the voter’s eligibility before being added to the election results.
Here is a breakdown of the provisional ballots cast in southeastern North Carolina counties:
- New Hanover County – 1,200
- Brunswick County – 869
- Pender County – 340
- Columbus County – 286
- Bladen County – 129
- Total statewide – 40,766
According to the NCSBE, each county board of elections meets before certifying the results to make decisions on provisional applications submitted by voters. If the board determines that the voter is eligible, the provisional ballot is counted. If the voter is eligible for some contests on the ballot but not others, the eligible contests will be counted for that voter. These ballots will be added to the results during the canvass process.
On Wednesday, the NCSBE released the approximate number of outstanding absentee-by-mail ballots for each county in North Carolina. Similarly to provisional ballots, these absentee-by-mail ballots, if accepted, could be added to the vote totals from Election Day during the process leading up to the vote canvass November 13. Here are the approximate number of absentee-by-mail ballots for southeastern North Carolina counties as of Wednesday, November 4:
- New Hanover County – 3,200
- Brunswick County – 1,400
- Pender County – 600
- Columbus County – 600
- Bladen County – 200
- Total statewide – 116,000
For more information on the absentee-by-mail and provisional ballots from the State Board of Elections, click here.
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