As of 2:15 p.m. Wednesday, county boards of elections had completed hand-to-eye recounts of the Supreme Court Chief Justice contest in 83 of 142 recount sites, with the ballots from the remaining 59 Election Day precincts and early voting sites to be counted in the coming days.
So far, Democrat Cheri Beasley has gained 10 votes, and Republican Paul Newby has gained 13 votes.
All 100 county boards of elections are recounting ballots from 3% of their precincts, early voting sites or absentee by mail ballots from the November 3 general election.
“We thank each county for their hard work during the hand-to-eye recount,” said Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the State Board of Elections. “With a contest this close, we are carrying out the process required by state law to ensure the results are accurate.”
A statewide machine recount concluded December 2, with Beasley trailing Newby by 401 votes out of nearly 5.4 million cast. As permitted by state law, Beasley requested a sample hand-to-eye recount following the first recount. [See Beasley recount request letter.]
On December 4, the State Board randomly selected voting sites to be recounted in each county. For the list of voting sites and recount results, which are updated frequently, go here: Hand-to-eye Recount Results.
What happens next?
If the results of the hand-to-eye recount differ from the machine recount results within the sample precincts to the extent that extrapolating the amount of the change to the entire jurisdiction would result in reversing the results in Beasley’s favor, then the State Board must order a statewide hand-to-eye recount.
The State Board will proceed as follows to determine whether extrapolating the result of the sample would reverse the results:
First, the State Board will determine the number of ballots counted hand-to-eye and the amount of change between the candidates for the hand-to-eye sample, then calculate the percent change of the margin.
Second, the State Board will extrapolate the percent change in the margin in the sample to the total ballots cast as determined by the machine recount: 5,391,501. If the resulting number is greater than the margin from the machine recount (401 votes), the State Board would order a statewide hand-to-eye recount of all ballots cast.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court candidates have filed a total of more than 100 election protests that are either scheduled for consideration by the county boards of elections or have already been heard at the county level and appealed to the State Board.
Here are the protests: https://dl.ncsbe.gov/?prefix=Requests/2020/2020 General Protest Filings/
Here are the appeals: https://dl.ncsbe.gov/?prefix=Requests/2020/2020 General Protest Filings/Appeals/
The State Board plans to hear the appeals at a meeting at 10 a.m. Friday, December 18. See the meeting notice here: NCSBE Meeting | NCSBE.
For the hand-to-eye recount meeting schedule, go here: Hand-to-eye Recount Meetings.