Local Politics

Vote not showing up in online database? Don't worry, NC elections officials say

Posted November 5, 2020 9:13 p.m. EST
Updated November 5, 2020 9:18 p.m. EST

— North Carolina elections officials said Thursday that it could take a few weeks until records are updated to reflect in an online database whether someone cast a ballot in this year's election.

The State Board of Elections and county elections boards have been inundated with questions from voters over the last two days about whether their ballot was counted. Officials said that, in almost every single case, the answer will be yes.

“If you voted in person and inserted your ballot into a tabulator, your selections were immediately recorded on a memory card, and your votes were reported on election night as part of the unofficial results,” Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the State Board of Elections, said in a statement. “We respectfully ask that voters trust their bipartisan boards of elections across North Carolina. We are here to make sure your votes count, and they will.”

But for anyone who voted on Election Day, it will take time for their voter history to reflect the fact that they voted, as county boards must first complete various post-election processes, officials said.

The State Board of Elections provides voter history on its website. It includes the election date, the voting method and a voter's county. For primary elections, it also includes the ballot style – Republican, Democratic or nonpartisan, for example – voted. But it never shows who anyone voted for, which is confidential.

For people who voted on Election Day, the voter history won't be updated online until county elections officials finish assigning it to individual voter records, which could take a couple of weeks.

People who cast their ballots during early voting or by mail can find their status under the “Your Absentee Ballot” section of the database. Under North Carolina law, all early votes – by-mail or in-person – are considered absentee votes. The records will be shifted into the voter history section once the records are reconciled over the next few weeks, officials said.

Voters who cast provisional ballots on Tuesday will be able to check the status of their ballots 10 days after the election through the Provisional Search tool.

“Please be patient as your county boards of elections work extremely hard to ensure all ballots are counted and results are audited and certified,” Brinson Bell said. “With these options, voters can have peace of mind that their voice was heard in this election.”

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