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NC board certifies results of May 17 elections

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Tom Bullock

Mandated audits of last month’s North Carolina statewide primary and municipal elections showed machine counts were extremely accurate, state elections officials said.

The State Board of Elections certified the May 17 results on Thursday after tabulations of all eligible ballots through the canvass. The certification followed audits by county boards and the state board.

State law requires bipartisan teams in all 100 counties conduct hand counts among two ballot groups, selected randomly. Of these 200 sample audits, hand and machine counts were identical in 179 of them. In the remaining 21, covering 17 counties, the average count difference was 2.3 within the counties, the state board said in a news release. Most discrepancies were attributed to human error or ballots with marks that couldn’t be read by machines, the board said.

Audits for this election and previous elections "show that our certified voting machines count ballots accurately and can be trusted,” board Executive Director Karen Brinson Bell said.

A state board audit verified the number of voters who check in to vote at polling places or cast mail-in ballots matched the number of ballots tabulated by county boards.

Nearly 20% of the state’s 7.2 million registered voters participated in last month's elections.

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