North Carolina, a crucial state that President Donald Trump seeks to win to keep his re-election hopes alive, reportedly will not update its election results for over a week.
“NBC News estimates that about 300,000 votes are left to be tallied, but counting in North Carolina has not resumed during the day Wednesday following Election Day,” NBC News reported. “The final count is delayed because the vast majority of county boards of elections won’t start counting the absentee and provisional ballots until Nov. 12 — so totals won’t be updated for more than one week.”
North Carolina’s results won’t just have a potentially significant impact on who wins the presidential election, it will also play a key role in determining which party controls the U.S. Senate. With 95% of the election results reported, Trump holds a 50.1% to 48.7% lead over Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden. In the state’s Senate race, Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) holds a 48.7% to 46.9% lead over Democrat challenger Cal Cunningham.
North Carolina won't update its total vote count until Nov. 12. The state is crucial for President Trump's path to victory. Here are the @NBCNews numbers. #Election2020 https://t.co/rp4VMjL3cC pic.twitter.com/ae71Rt79ax
— CNBC Politics (@CNBCPolitics) November 4, 2020
The North Carolina Board of Elections said in a statement last week:
County boards of elections in North Carolina will accept mail-in ballots received by November 12, as long as they are postmarked by Election Day, November 3.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Wednesday to uphold this deadline.
“Even with the deadline extension, we encourage voters to return their absentee ballot as soon as possible and ensure it is postmarked,” said Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the State Board of Elections. “Please make sure your ballot is counted. Return it now.”
Through October 28, about 273,000 voters who requested an absentee ballot have not yet voted in this election.
About 1.36 million voters requested absentee by-mail ballots. Of those voters, more than 852,000 (or 63%) have successfully returned their ballots. More than 233,000 voters (or 17%) have instead cast their ballot in person during the early voting period.
An absentee ballot is timely if it is received by the county board by 5 p.m. on Election Day, or is postmarked on or before Election Day and received by 5 p.m. on Thursday, November 12.
A ballot will be considered postmarked by Election Day if it has a postmark or if there is information in BallotTrax, or another tracking service offered by the U.S. Postal Service or a commercial carrier, indicating that the ballot was in the custody of the Postal Service or the commercial carrier on or before Election Day.
The announcement was met with skepticism and backlash online.
Brian Riedl, Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, responded: “Sorry for being the millionth person to state the obvious, but how we count ballots is a national disgrace. Certain states need a complete overhaul to count ballots quickly, efficiently, & accurately. If they won’t reform, then Congress should (gasp) mandate minimum standards.”
Sorry for being the millionth person to state the obvious, but how we count ballots is a national disgrace.
Certain states need a complete overhaul to count ballots quickly, efficiently, & accurately. If they won't reform, then Congress should (gasp) mandate minimum standards. https://t.co/knuyQsOIcm
— Brian Riedl 🧀 (@Brian_Riedl) November 4, 2020
Rebeccah Heinrichs, Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute, responded: “This is really really bad. Truly inexcusable and I’m speechless. People aren’t going to stand for this.”
Truly inexcusable and I’m speechless. People aren’t going to stand for this.
— Rebeccah Heinrichs (@RLHeinrichs) November 4, 2020
Matt Whitlock, Senior Advisor at the NRSC, responded: “This is genuinely egregious. NC officials are actively delaying counting and wrapping this up until the deadline the courts gave them. And Biden is getting @CalforNC and Dems down ballot to refuse to concede to delay bad Dem news as long as possible. Terrible.”
This is genuinely egregious. NC officials are actively delaying counting and wrapping this up until the deadline the courts gave them.
And Biden is getting @CalforNC and Dems down ballot to refuse to concede to delay bad Dem news as long as possible.
— Matt Whitlock (@mattdizwhitlock) November 5, 2020
This is a developing news story, refresh the page for updates.