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More Than 40,000 Provisional Ballots Cast In NC On Election Day

Voting signs were posted outside of White Rock Baptist Church in Durham on Election Day, Nov. 3, 2020.
Peyton Sickles
for WUNC

In addition to outstanding mail-in ballots, election officials in North Carolina have another pool of votes to work through.

According to a news release from the State Board of Elections on Thursday, 40,766 provisional ballots were cast in the state on Election Day.

Provisional ballots are used when a person’s name does not appear on the poll book or other questions arise about their eligibility to vote. The ballots must then be researched to determine if the voter was eligible. If election officials determine the voter is eligible, the provisional ballot will be counted.

Ballots cast by eligible voters will be added to the results after county board absentee meetings scheduled through Nov. 13.

Cabarrus, Cumberland, Durham, Forsyth, Guilford, Mecklenburg, New Hanover, Onslow, Pitt, Robeson and Wake counties each had more than 1,000 provisional ballots cast. Wake – North Carolina’s most populous county – had the most provisional ballots with 3,437.

Election officials are also still working to count about 116,000 outstanding mail-in ballots.

As counting continues, several races in North Carolina remained too close to call Thursday morning.

In the race for the White House, President Donald Trump leads former Vice President Joe Biden by 76,701 votes, according to the most recent statistics reported by the Associated Press. In the U.S. Senate race, Republican incumbent Thom Tillis leads Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham by 96,688 votes.

Statewide races for the state’s Attorney General and two state Supreme Court seats have also not yet been called by the AP.

Mitchell Northam is a Digital Producer for WUNC. His past work has been featured at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, SB Nation, the Orlando Sentinel and the Associated Press. He is a graduate of Salisbury University and is also a voter in the AP Top 25 poll for women's college basketball.
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