Election canvasses complete across southeastern North Carolina
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Election day results are now official across southeastern North Carolina now that county boards of elections conducted canvasses on Friday morning. The canvass is the date set by the state where local boards must confirm the results and ensure their accuracy.
From counting ballots by hand to ensure accuracy to checking the status of voters, Brunswick County Elections Director Sara LaVere said they had some challenged ballots that had to be removed.
“We had four voters that cast absentee ballots and died before Election Day and because voter eligibility is determined on election day, they weren’t no longer eligible to vote and so we found those and we were able to remove those ballots,” she said.
But these incidents are not uncommon and there are often other mistakes that could be due to human error or caused by voting machines. In Brunswick County, LaVere said there were just seven challenges. It was a similar story in New Hanover County as well with only a handful of ballots that needed to be addressed.
Richard Poole is the former Chair of the New Hanover County Democratic Party, he said the work that goes into the canvass should bring people peace of mind and trust in the election process.
“There are those kinds of confusions they have to work out and although sometimes, it’s a little complicated, it’s pretty clear that they’re just garden variety snafus that need to be solved,” he said.
LaVere shared his sentiments.
“We do all these checks and balances to make sure that the election certification is legitimate, and it’s accurate. And we take it very seriously,” LaVere said.
Although there were some close races, there were none that would have been changed by just seven votes that had to be addressed, but that’s not to say that the canvass process doesn’t have a purpose — and Poole said in tight races it could make or break a candidate’s seat.
“When elections are really close, it’s a different manner, not because of bad actors typically, but because when elections are close, things, like mistakes in machine reading, become significant and those are tiny but, but those are why we have recounts on close elections,” he said.
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