RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) - The state board of elections issued an order Monday telling county boards to dismiss any election protest that "merely disputes the eligibility of a voter."
The order comes in the wake of the Republican incumbent Governor Pat McCrory campaign and its supporters filing protests across the state alleging fraud by making claims that dead people voted, some voters cast ballots in more than one state or felons voted improperly.
County boards have been considering the claims in recent weeks, some of which have been dismissed due to lack of evidence.
In its order Monday, the state board tells counties they must still consider protests that claim a violation of election law and affect enough votes that the outcome of a race in one county would be impacted.
The order instructs counties to go forward with canvassing the results of the general election.
Pat Gannon, a spokesman for the N.C. Board of Elections, explained that the order instructs county boards to count the individual ballots of voters who are the subject of election protests across the state, unless by doing so, it changes the outcome of any race, even local races.
Assuming it does not, Gannon said, counties should count the ballots and send notice of them to the state board.
The state will then look at the "big picture" of all these protested ballots once it receives notice of them from all the counties, according to Gannon.
"This is a devastating blow to the McCrory campaign and further evidence that there is no path to victory for Governor McCrory. Roy Cooper's lead has grown to over 9,000 votes as Republican claims of voter fraud have been routinely rejected by members of their own party. It's time for Governor McCrory to respect the will of the voters," said Cooper for NC Campaign Manager Trey Nix in a prepared statement.