Delayed votes in Wake County, a likely runoff: A look at Super Tuesday

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Nearly 1.7 million ballots were cast in North Carolina on Primary Day. Aside from a handful of individual voter issues and lower than expected turnout, State Board of Election executive director Karen Brinson Bell said Super Tuesday was largely smooth sailing.

Brinson Bell says this comes despite changes to voting processes this primary. Among those changes are a 7:30 p.m. Election Day deadline for mail in ballots, a 7:30 p.m. start time to absentee ballot counting, and the new voter ID law.

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Wake County stood out again this election being among the last to report any votes. At 10:45 p.m., they were the only county in the state with zero reported precincts. Bell said their volume of votes makes speed and accuracy a sensitive balance for the second-largest county in the state.

The county’s board of elections said their geography also poses a logistical issue.

“It’s a bottleneck issue and we’re trying to work with them to figure out things on our end to help speed that along, things on their end that might be helpful,” said Brinson Bell.

With results now in, some voters can expect a second primary. Brad Knott, fighting for the congressional seat in the 13th district, exclusively told CBS 17 Wednesday morning he planned to request a runoff.

“It’s not automatic. So, we’ll be waiting to hear from those candidates to see if that’s what they want to do. And if so, we will have a second primary at some level, potentially on May the 14th,” said Brinson Bell.

She knows all the wheels have to be well-oiled come General Election time in November.

“We recognized for November is going to be a much larger turnout. That’s what we always see happen in presidential elections. It’s when there are some voters who that’s the only time they turn out to vote and so we’re really trying to prepare for are some of these new processes,” Bell said.

Voters can expect more outreach and education in the coming months from the NCSBOE.

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