Election Officials Urge Patience as Absentee-By-Mail Vote Counted in NC

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – North Carolina election officials are urging patience as we wait for counties to finish tallying absentee-by-mail and provisional ballots.

Any ballots received in the mail by November 12th will be counted, as long as they were postmarked by Election Day.

It was a record-breaking election in North Carolina, with nearly 75 percent of registered voters casting ballots.

“That number is simply astounding,” said Damon Circosta, Chair of the North Carolina State Board of Elections, during a news conference on Wednesday.

And while the voting is done, the hard work is only beginning for those who tally the numbers.

“Processing ballots that were voted on or before Election Day, researching provisional ballots, and conducting audits and verification measures,” Circosta explained.

Election officials say none of this is out of the ordinary, other than allowing six extra days for mail-in ballots to arrive.

In Mecklenburg County, the Board of Elections will meet on Friday to tally 1,000 absentee ballots that have recently arrived by mail, with another two or three thousand expected in the next couple of days.

“We, by law, have to count absentees that were postmarked yesterday,” says Mecklenburg County Elections Director Michael Dickerson.

With the numbers remaining close between Donald Trump and Joe Biden in North Carolina, election officials are urging people to stay patient and let the process play out.

“Well they may not have patience, but they won’t have a choice either,” says UNC Charlotte Political Science Professor Eric Heberlig.

Experts say voters should have confidence that things are being handled properly.

“The certification process happens after every election. It’s routine. The Board of Elections knows what to do, has a process for doing it, both parties are involved in overseeing to make sure that everything is done properly,” Heberlig says.