State News

State: Provisional ballots may expand Obama's lead in N.C.

Posted November 5, 2008 11:39 a.m. EST
Updated November 5, 2008 4:12 p.m. EST

— North Carolina's election chief says he wouldn't be surprised to see Barack Obama's slim lead in the state increase as counties count thousands of provisional ballots.

State Board of Elections director Gary Bartlett estimated Wednesday there are about 40,000 provisional ballots, cast by voters whose eligibility to vote must be confirmed.

He said history suggests that about 65 percent of those ballots will be eligible and that they are likely to break toward the winner in numbers similar to conventional ballots counted on Election Day.

Unofficial election results show Obama with 12,106 votes more than Republican rival John McCain. Obama has already won the race to the White House, even without North Carolina's final results.

Statewide officials said voter turnout was estimated at 69 percent or about 4.3 million people. Analysts said the state had one of the largest increases in voter turnout in the entire country.

Nationally voter turnout hit 63 percent or about 133 million people.