Wake County, N.C. — County boards of election will conduct their "canvass" on Friday, the day when votes become official. Among the tasks those boards will carry out will be deciding whether or not to county provisional ballots, those casts by voters whose names weren't on the voter rolls when they showed up to vote or who had encountered other problems.
In most races, the 47,466 potential provisional votes won't make much of a difference. However, in the race for the 7th Congressional District between Mike McIntyre, a Democrat, and Republican David Rouzer and the lieutenant governor contest between Democrat Linda Coleman and Republican Dan Forrest those provisional ballots could change outcomes from Election Night.
Coleman, who trailed Forest on Election Night, has been particularly aggressive in her monitoring of provisional ballots. Provisional votes historically have favored Democrats, so it's reasonable to assume that if enough of the ballots are counted Coleman could erase a 10,304-vote Election Night deficit.
Coleman's campaign staff says they have identified 565 provisional ballots cast by legitimate voters that have been marked not to be counted on the Canvass Day.
“These are registered voters whose names never made it on to the voter rolls,” Coleman said in a news release. “Somewhere along the way the system let these people down, and we want local boards to take notice of these individuals and ensure their voice is heard in this election.”
Coleman's team is asking for more information about those ballots. Of the 565, 151 are in Wake County and another 101 are in Cumberland.
Asked for more information about their process, Coleman spokesman Micah Beasley wrote:
"We asked several questions to just about each of the 100 county boards of elections. They all explained the process: that they determine whether a provisional voter's registration is valid before they assign it to that category. We found that these voters are in fact registered in spite of having their ballots rejected for them not being registered. Therefore, their votes should count and there is time for the county boards of elections to fix this disenfranchisement."