Post-election audit finds only minor discrepancies in vote totals, says NC Board of Elections

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A post-election audit of 200 voting groups from across North Carolina unveiled only a few minor discrepancies between the machine count and hand-to-eye count in the presidential election, according to the North Carolina State Board of Elections (NCSBE).

As a statewide recount gets underway in the race for the next North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice, all 100 county boards of elections have already completed hand-to-eye audits for the 2020 general election, a release from the NCSBE said.

Bipartisan county boards of elections, as per state law, conducted hand-to-eye audits of ballots from randomly selected voting groups. Because 2020 was a presidential election year, the audited contest was the race for the presidency.

According to the NCSBE, the audit is a comparison between the machine counts of ballots and the hand-to-eye counts. This is done to ensure that voting equipment accurately recorded voters’ choices.

The voting systems and software of the two companies used in the State of North Carolina – ES&S and Hart InterCivic – are both certified for use in the state and all counties used machines from one of those companies, the NCSBE said.

Across the state, more than 150 Election Day precincts and 30 early voting sites were audited. In addition, more than a dozen counties conducted a hand-to-eye audit of all mail-in absentee ballots.

Of the 200 voting groups audited, just 13 audits found any difference between the machine count and the hand count, according to the NCSBE. All 13 discrepancies were three votes or fewer.

The NCSBE said that most of the differences were due to human error, such as a voter marking outside of the bubble or an error made during the hand count itself.

“We are glad to see that no significant issues were found during the audit,” said Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the State Board of Elections, in the release. “This successful audit is a testament to our elections officials and to the elections equipment used throughout the state. North Carolinians can be confident that their votes count.”

The NCSBE will certify statewide results for most federal, statewide, multi-district and judicial contests during the state canvass scheduled for 11 a.m. on Nov. 24. Results are not considered official until they’re certified by the North Carolina State Board of Elections.

After the results are certified, winning candidates will be issued a certificate of election by the NCSBE.

For more information on election security and the audit process, click here.


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