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Politics

Election Result May Be Delayed; NC Elections Office Offers Preview Of Count

Board of Elections absentee north carolina vote
Gerry Broome
/
AP

There’s a good chance that Americans won’t know the winner of Tuesday’s presidential election when they go to bed that night, but North Carolinians should have a decent idea of who will win in their state.

North Carolina's elections office is predicting that at the end of Election Day it will be able to tally and report at least 97% of all ballots cast.

The N.C. State Board of Elections said in a news release Sunday that it will post results as quickly as possible but that its primary objective will be an accurate count.

Many states have made it easier to request a mail ballot amid the coronavirus pandemic and concerns about crowded polling places. But mail ballots generally require more time to process than ballots that are cast in person.

In North Carolina, mail-in ballots are not due until Nov. 12 if postmarked by Election Day.

The state board is set to meet Nov. 24 to certify the final results.

North Carolina is a key battleground state that President Donald Trump needs to win to boost his prospects of defeating Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

We may not know who won the presidential election Tuesday night, and that's not unusual. In 2016, Trump was not declared the winner until early in the morning after Election Day. This time it may take even longer.

That's partly because Republicans have resisted speeding up vote counting in some of the campaign's swing states. GOP legislatures in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin have refused to let local elections offices process mail ballots early. That means those tallies, expected to heavily favor Biden, will be reported after Election Day. In Michigan, the legislature only gave a slight extension to election offices.

Many states made it easier to request a mail ballot amid the coronavirus pandemic and concerns about crowded polling places. But mail ballots generally require more time to process than ballots cast in person.  Some states with extensive experience in using mail-in ballots have adjusted for those extra steps. But other states are leaving that work until Election Day.

As a result, it could take days to tally enough ballots to project a winner.

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