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Final Certification Scheduled for Next Week After Audits to Confirm Counts

Raleigh, N.C. — With post-election processes — including required audits — nearly complete, the NC State Board of Elections will meet on Tuesday, November 29, to certify final results of the 2022 general election.

[See board meeting information and agenda.]

In recent days, each of the 100 bipartisan county boards of elections certified election results at the county level. During the 10-day period between the November 8 election and county canvass, the county boards completed numerous post-election tasks to verify the vote counts, including determining which provisional ballots are eligible to be counted by law, processing and counting absentee ballots of eligible voters that were cast by Election Day but arrived in the mail after Election Day, conducting statutorily required audits and any necessary recounts, considering any election protests, and ultimately certifying results of contests under their jurisdictions.

In one audit required by state law, bipartisan teams at each county board hand-counted all ballots from two randomly selected ballot groups. Among those ballot groups that could have been selected for the hand-count audit are: ballots cast at an early voting site or Election Day precinct, or all ballots cast by mail in a county.

Across North Carolina, teams hand-counted the U.S. Senate results in 158 Election Day precincts and 28 early voting sites. And 14 counties conducted a hand-count of all absentee-by-mail ballots they accepted.

The county-by-county results of these audits, conducted at public meetings, show once again that the certified election machines used to count ballots do so with great accuracy.

“These audit results – and the results of similar audits conducted after every election – show that our certified voting machines count ballots accurately and can be trusted,” said Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the State Board of Elections. 

Of these 200 groups of ballots, very small differences between machine counts and human hand-eye counts were found in 19 samples. The average ballot count difference within these counties was 2.3. Most of these minor discrepancies can be attributed to human errors during the hand-eye audit itself, or to voters who did not fill in the bubbles completely.

Aside from the differences noted above, in all other counties, the machine count and hand-eye count matched exactly in the sampled ballot groups. In other words, in 181 of 200 samples, the hand and machine counts were identical.

Additional post-election accuracy checks are conducted by the State Board. Details on these audits will be presented at the Board’s November 29 meeting.

Courtesy of North Carolina State Board of Elections.