Where Does North Carolina Stand With Its Mail-In Ballots?

Where Does North Carolina Stand With Its Mail-In Ballots?

A question hangs over North Carolina right now — what’s happening with our mail-in ballots?

The answer is simple: they’re still being counted.

“We encourage the public to be patient and let the process unfold as it does in every election,” Karen Brinson Bell, NC Board of Elections Executive Director, said in a statement. “This is a long-established process. This year is no different.”

For North Carolina, mail-in ballots will be counted as long as they were postmarked by Nov. 3 and received by Nov. 12. The state elections board estimated on Wednesday that 116,200 mail-in ballots are still outstanding.

Wake (15,000), Mecklenburg (14,900), Guilford (6,700) and Forsyth (5,400) counties had the highest remaining total of outstanding mail-in ballots, according to the Board of Elections.

Those four counties are the most-populated counties in the state, according to 2019 estimates. All four counties also tend to vote Democrat.

How the North Carolina Senate Race Needs Mail-In Ballots

As of Wednesday morning, Republican Sen. Thom Tillis’ unofficial lead over Democrat challenger Cal Cunningham was 96,707 votes. The NC Board of Elections has not updated its online election results dashboard since then.

“Regardless of vote differentials, we never stop counting until all eligible voters’ ballots are counted and added to the totals, which are audited and certified,” Brinson Bell said.

Tillis claimed victory Tuesday night, but no news organization has called the race yet.

Photo by Darren Halstead on Unsplash.

Mail-in ballots nationwide during this election cycle have trended more Democrat than Republican. President Donald Trump had led former vice president Joe Biden in the battleground states of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Biden led by 20,510 votes in Wisconsin and by around 61,000 votes in Michigan, according to CBS News. Trump led by 115,071 on Wednesday afternoon in Pennsylvania.

But closer to home, control of the Senate still hangs in the balance of the Cunningham-Tillis race. Democrats needed to pick up a net of three seats in this election to gain the majority in the chamber.

Make sure to follow all our election coverage. Check out the detailed overview of ballots and counts or our guide on how to watch this uncertain news cycle with a critical eye.