Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the State Board of Elections, gave the following comments at a media availability at noon on municipal Election Day:
Good afternoon, fellow North Carolinians, and Happy Election Day!
I’m Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the State Board of Elections. I’m here with Lindsey Wakely, the State Board’s acting general counsel.
Today, voters are making their voices heard in 461 municipalities across 90 of North Carolina’s 100 counties. More than 1,000 polling places opened to voters at 6:30 a.m. Voting is going smoothly across the state, with very few issues.
We encourage all voters who live in one of these municipalities to exercise their right to vote today. Municipal elections are often decided by a few votes. As always, your vote counts.
Today, voters are electing mayors and city and town councilmembers. These elected officials are the closest to you and your neighborhood. They will determine your local tax rates, hire your police and fire chiefs and make decisions about sidewalks, parks, development projects and water and sewer services.
These are issues that affect your life daily. So please, if you’re eligible, take a few minutes and vote.
Polls are open until 7:30 p.m. If you are in line by 7:30, you may cast your ballot. If you are voting by mail, your ballot must be postmarked by today. Also, you may drop your ballot off at your board of elections office by 5 p.m. today.
While most municipalities are holding elections today, some, including our state’s larger municipalities, will be holding their elections in the spring because of delays in redrawing local districts after the 2020 Census.
To see if your city or town is voting today and to view a sample ballot, please use the State Board’s Voter Search tool, which is available at ncsbe.gov.
Unofficial results will be posted on the State Board’s website on a rolling basis after polls close. But please remember that these are unofficial results. Official results are declared only after every county counts every eligible ballot, including absentee by mail and provisional ballots. They also come after the county and state boards of elections conduct a series of post-election audits designed to ensure the results are accurate.
We also want to remind voters that every tabulator used to count votes is tested before every election, including this election. Every step of the election process is conducted by bipartisan teams of elections officials. Political parties were provided the opportunity to have observers present. Again, results are always audited, and if necessary, recounted.
Election officials across North Carolina go to work each day, year in and year out, to ensure that your vote counts and that the final results can be trusted. We take this work very seriously. Please always feel free to reach out to your county board of elections or the State Board if you have questions. Also, accurate information about election security is available at ncsbe.gov.
Thank you for voting today.