The March 5 primary elections are upon us, and local elections officials are gearing up to make sure all goes smoothly.
There are a couple of updates from state elections officials that could have an impact on how local officials process the early voting and absentee votes next week.
With only two contested races in the upcoming primary, local officials should be able to manage without too much trouble, but instead of tabulating the early votes in advance of the 7:30 p.m. poll closing, they have to wait until after the polls close to make those tabulations.
WIZS News will be at the Vance County Board of Elections office Tuesday evening to report all the election results as they become available.
Since this is the first time the new rules will be in effect, it’s unclear just how long the early voting results may take, but it could be an hour or more before unofficial results can be posted.
One other change involves absentee ballots. Those ballots must be received no later than 7:30 p.m. on Election Day; this rule replaces the previous rule that allowed for a three-day grace period to receive absentee ballots.
Unlike early voting results, absentee-by-mail results can be tabulated before the polThose absentee results will likely be the first to appear publicly for any given county when the polls close. They will include all absentee ballots returned to the county boards of elections before Election Day. Under state law, ballots returned on Election Day are approved and added to the vote totals during the 10-day period after Election Day known as the “canvass.”
Canvass is the process of ensuring votes have been counted correctly and required audits have been completed, culminating in the certification of results during meetings of every county board of elections.
By law, these canvass meetings will be held by each county board of elections at 11 a.m. on Friday, Mar. 15. The state board will meet at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Mar. 26 to finalize primary results.