New Hanover County receives five times more absentee ballots than in the last presidential election

NHC Election Day preparations underway

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - With Election Day now in view, there are record numbers of absentee voter ballots being counted. That includes New Hanover county where the numbers are five times higher than the 2016 presidential election.

The night before the much-anticipated presidential election, staff at the New Hanover County Board of Elections sat down to approve and scan absentee ballots...a task they only had to do about three times the last presidential election, has turned into a series of meetings this time around.

“In 2016, there were fewer than 5,000 absentee ballots and now we’ve just approved a little more than 25,000," said Tom Pollard, NHC Board of Elections Chairman.”

Those 25,000 absentee ballots already approved come from more than 40,000 absentee ballots requested in New Hanover County.

This is how the review process works.

“We review a sampling of those. Based on that review, we approve them," said Pollard. "After that approval is done, we can actually open the envelope, then the ballots are scanned. They’re not counted, they’re scanned and they will be ready to be counted on election day.”

Sitting in the crowd of the past six meetings taking her notes has been Lynn Dunn. She isn’t affiliated with a party; she’s just a county resident curious about the process.

She says, with so much concern about ballot tampering and fear of votes not being counted, she wanted an inside look.

“I wanted to learn how the board of elections works," said Dunn. "I wanted to be a monitor and see how everything was going as the law and the state board of elections indicated.”

The board says even with the extensive amount of hours that are being put into this election, it’s not a problem. They just want every vote to be accurately counted.

Since their last meeting, there are still over 3,000 absentee ballots that are being scanned Tuesday night.

The board says the first set of elections results tallied tomorrow in New Hanover County, won’t be made public until Tuesday evening at 7:30 p.m.

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