The director of the state Board of Elections predicts election night in North Carolina should go smoothly because the majority of voters are voting early.
Early voting numbers are breaking records, and Karen Brinson-Bell said tabulation with those ballots already in the machines should go quickly.
Under a Supreme Court order, mailed ballots postmarked on or before Election Day must be received by 5 p.m. Nov. 12 in order to be counted.
"We will be able to count those ballots as long as they’re received in nine days," Brinson-Bell said Thursday from her office in Raleigh.
She predicts the statewide count process will go fast because of the early votes.
"We have been holding absentee board meetings. On Election Day, those boards will meet and turn on those scanners, those tabulators to tabulate mode and we’ll upload those results at 7:30 p.m. on election night," Brinson-Bell said.
She predicts about 80% of votes will come early.
"For the 20% or so of North Carolinians who vote on Election Day, we will be receiving those in from the precinct and uploading those, as well," she said. "So, if there are really close races, those Election Day votes will tremendously matter in the outcomes of these elections."
Counties like Buncombe and Henderson have expensive tabulation machines designed to handle large volumes of vote counting as soon as polls close.