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Canvass finalizes election results (NC)
The Daily Reflector. November 13, 2008. By Ginger Livingston

The Pitt County Board of Elections will finalize the Nov. 4 election results today.

Election officials here and across the state are canvassing votes to finalize the count in federal, state and local races. A canvass is required to verify the votes, said Dave Davis, Pitt County elections director.

“We're verifying to make sure the machines were reading the ballots correctly and if something was off, what was the reason for it being off,” he said.

Provisional ballots that have been confirmed and last-minute absentee ballots are added during the canvass to produce the final results, he said.

Federal election law requires that the absentee ballots of military people and individuals living overseas that arrive on election day be counted in the presidential election, said Don Wright, attorney for the State Board of Elections.

Pitt County had about 1,800 provisional ballots cast, Davis said. Provisional ballots are cast when precinct workers can't determine on Election Day if a person is a registered voter or has previously voted. Davis said provisional ballots are checked against various voter registration data banks and the county's own records to see if the person legitimately could cast a ballot.

Davis said Monday, election staff had found several people who registered through the Division of Motor Vehicles but their names were never sent to the local election office.

The State Board of Elections, following the Help America Vote Act of 2002, had precinct workers offer provisional ballots to everyone who came in to vote but wasn't registered, even those who acknowledged they didn't register on time. Wright said the ballots of unregistered voters won't be counted, but pointed out that, now, they areregistered voters.

To verify the Election Day vote, election board members will pull ballots from four precincts ed by the state board, and hand count the presidential votes to make sure the data was recorded properly, Davis said.

Contact Ginger Livingston at glivingston@coxnc.com or (252) 329-9573.


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