NC results could be delayed on Election Day due to new GOP-crafted law. What to expect.

Election results are expected to come in later than usual this year due to new legislation passed by North Carolina Republicans.

“Those who watch election results in North Carolina have come to expect a large chunk of results very soon after polls close,” Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the State Board of Elections, said in a news release. “That will not happen this year, although the State Board and county boards of elections remain committed to providing unofficial results as quickly as possible.”

At a news conference on Wednesday, Brinson Bell said the delay could range from 30 minutes to two hours depending on the county.

The delay is due to a provision in Senate Bill 747, a Republican-crafted bill passed last year which makes sweeping changes to election law. GOP proponents said the goal of the law was to increase confidence in elections.

The law says election officials must wait until polls close at 7:30 p.m. to begin counting and reporting results of ballots cast during early voting.

Previously, county boards of elections were able to begin tabulating early votes before polls closed, allowing them to report those results around 7:30 p.m. on Election Day.

Brinson Bell said the new law could slow down results from large counties, which have more early voting sites, but could also slow down small counties since they have less staff.

“Our goal is to be is expedient as possible, but the primary objective is to be accurate,” she said.

Over 670,000 votes were cast during the early voting period for the primary, Brinson Bell said.

Reminders for Election Day

At the press conference, Brinson Bell also reminded voters that another change in SB 747 requires all mail-in absentee ballots to arrive at the county board of elections office by 7:30 p.m. on Election Day.

“At this point, do not put that ballot in the mail,” she said. “It likely will not arrive before the deadline.”

Instead, voters can drop off their absentee ballot at their county board of elections office.

Voters will need to show an ID to cast their ballot. Any voters without an ID can fill out an ID exception form.

On Election Day, polls will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.