Mecklenburg County processes thousands of absentee ballots, one of nine N.C. counties to count Friday

Roughly 99,000 outstanding absentee ballots yet to be counted

Election officials counting absentee ballots

RALEIGH, N.C. (WBTV) - Mecklenburg County is one of nine counties in North Carolina that held absentee ballot meetings on Friday.

The North Carolina State Board of Elections says they expected roughly 4,500 ballots to be counted Friday.

In the presidential race, as of Friday afternoon, President Trump leads Joe Biden by less than 77,000 votes in North Carolina, according to CBS News.

Other county board of elections are scheduled to have absentee by mail counting meetings on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of next week.

The ballots being counted are those that were postmarked by Election Day and received on or since Election Day.

Ballots postmarked by Election Day can arrive at a county board of elections up to Nov. 12, and it will still be counted.

State board of elections officials say we are now down to a possible universe of roughly 99,000 outstanding absentee ballots, which are ballots requested and sent to people who have not sent them in.

Officials say this number shrunk from 117,000 after they removed all people who requested a ballot but voted early in-person. It will further shrink after they remove the number of people who requested a ballot but voted on Election Day.

The State Board will not know how many voters with outstanding absentee ballots voted on Election Day until the county boards of elections complete their regular post-election tasks during the canvass period.

Additionally, about 31,900 eligible ballots arrived at county boards of elections over the past few days. These envelopes have been scanned in but have not yet been officially approved by the county board or added to the unofficial results.

Officials say these numbers are approximations based on the best available data through the state’s election information management system

Also, the 40,766 provisional ballots voted statewide will be researched to determine whether the voter was eligible, and the approved ballots will be reported on the Election Night Results website on Nov. 12 and 13. In 2016, about 44 percent of provisional ballots cast statewide were counted.

County boards will complete their processes and canvass the election on Nov. 13. The State Board will meet on Nov. 24 to complete its canvass.

County boards of elections cannot meet sooner to count additional ballots because state law requires them to schedule post-election absentee board meetings at least two weeks before Election Day.

The meeting schedule must be published once a week for two weeks in a newspaper. The law does not permit a county board to modify the meeting schedule after the election.

In Mecklenburg County, several observers, many of them who supported President Donald Trump, came to the board of elections office to observe the process.

“I found out the absentee ballots will be counted tonight, I wanted to come in person and see that this would be a fair counting of these ballots," said Bessie Rhoades. She said she came because she didn’t think absentee ballots and vote totals were being accurately counted in North Carolina.

There is no evidence of fraudulent votes in North Carolina, or across the country in any battleground states.

Rhoades was joined by about a dozen observers, one of them being Mason Jones.

“We’re all kind of weird about what fraudulent possibilities could come. I’m interested to see if that could happen? I don’t think it will. I really trust the state of North Carolina, I think they have a great election process," said Jones. "At the end of the day, I know both sides are trying to win the election. And I’m just here to be observant of that.”

The following nine counties have meetings scheduled Friday, November 6). The number of absentee ballots that may be counted is also included.

  • Anson County
    • 11 a.m., County Board of Elections office, 402 Morven Road, Wadesboro
    • Ballots: 11
  • Cabarrus
    • 5 p.m., County Board of Elections office, 369 Church St. N, Concord
    • Ballots: 400
  • Edgecombe
    • 5 p.m., County Board of Elections office, 201 St. Andrew St., Room 434, Tarboro
    • Ballots: 88
  • Graham
    • 5 p.m., Graham County Courthouse, 12 N. Main St. Robbinsville
    • Ballots: 11
  • Hoke
    • 5 p.m., Hoke County Commissioners Room 227, 227 N. Main St., Raeford
    • Ballots: 192
  • Mecklenburg
    • 5 p.m., County Board of Elections office, 741 Kenilworth Ave., Suite 202, Charlotte
    • Ballots: 3,000-5,000
  • Perquimans
    • Noon, County Board of Elections office, 601A S. Edenton Road St., Hertford
    • Ballots: 5
  • Robeson
    • 6 p.m., County Board of Elections office, 800 N. Walnut St., Lumberton
    • Ballots: 175
  • Sampson
    • 10 a.m., County Board of Elections office, 120 County Complex Road, Suite 10, Clinton
    • Ballots: 500

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