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WEB EXCLUSIVE It’s been two days since the election and everyone is wondering why the next president of the United States has yet to be announced. As of today, Thursday, November 5, there are six outstanding states where presidential votes have yet to be fully counted: Arizona, Alaska, Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. This delay is largely due to how individual states are counting and the order in which they count different types of votes (i.e. absentee ballots sent by mail).
In North Carolina, absentee ballots had to be postmarked on or before Election Day, November 3, and they are counted as long as they are received by the county board of elections by 5 p.m. on November 12. Provisional ballots have also yet to be counted. This means that, at the earliest, North Carolina will have their final counts by late November 12 or November 13. The State Board of Elections will meet on November 24 to certify the election.
North Carolina is one of the only states that has the November 3 postmark deadline that prolongs the election process. The state board had extended the deadline for absentee ballots earlier this year to be received at local election offices from November 6 to November 12 as part of a consent decree in a state lawsuit by voting rights advocates.
While Joe Biden has won the popular vote already, he must get at least 270 electoral votes to officially win the election. According to the BBC, “If you win a state, you win all its votes (except Nebraska and Maine, but that’s complicated). There are 538 state votes and the person who gets 270 wins the prize.” In North Carolina, there are approximately 290,000 ballots left to be counted and Trump is currently ahead by 76,737 votes. The graph below from The New York Times shows the estimated votes reported, votes remaining and the current margin for all the remaining six states.
For more information on the election and how votes are counted in each state, visit the Associated Press website.
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