Raleigh, NC – North Carolina closes the books on state 2022 elections.
Campaign Day is when each state certifies the results of its election, ten days after Election Day. It is quite a long process; Each ballot must be counted and the results reconciled.
After the state canvas is completed, the next step is at the state level. The North Carolina State Board of Elections has ten more days to review each state’s results and look for any problems or discrepancies. The state board will meet on November 29 to confirm the winners.
Gary Sims, Wake County’s director of elections, says it’s open to anyone, and people often come to observe.
“I think transparency is the biggest thing, you know. This is a public process,” Sims said.
The day before the canvass, the bipartisan Wake County Board of Elections met for nine hours to complete necessary tasks. That included checking and approving absentee ballots that were postmarked by Election Day but arrived between Election Day and Monday’s deadline to receive them.
Sims said a few others may be tricked into being late if they are delayed by mail, but if they don’t get them by the deadline, they don’t count.
“Everything mailed on time counts, as long as it’s postmarked,” Sims said. “We got about 6,000, and we’re just adding to the count in absentia.”
The board reviews and approves the provisional ballots. They are ballots given to people who come to the wrong precinct to vote, or who believe they are registered to vote but are not in the poll book, or for some other reason.
Provisional ballots are placed in envelopes and kept separate from the rest of the ballots. Each is researched by election workers and cross-checked with DMV records to verify the voter’s eligibility.
About 3,900 such provisional ballots were cast in Wake County this election, Sims said. About 2,500 ballot papers were fully or partially counted and about 1,400 were uncountable.
The additional absentee and provisional ballots did not change the outcome of any race in Wake County or push it into a recount area, Sims said, but by law, every valid vote must be counted.
After each election, each state also conducts a hand-eye count of two randomly selected sample precincts by the state board of elections. Teams of bipartisan officials count the votes in the top race on the ballot.
“They would count one by one to make sure the votes tabulated on the tabulator matched the number of eyes on the hand,” Sims explained. “They’re always exactly the same, but it gives the public extra confidence that our voting system works.”
Wake County completed its canvass Friday morning with the board’s unanimous vote. Sims described the 2022 canvas as “everything smooth.”