State Board orders second primary

Published 4:34 pm Thursday, March 28, 2024

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The State Board of Elections on Tuesday unanimously certified the results of the 2024 primary election in North Carolina and ordered several second primaries to be held on May 14.

The bipartisan State Board voted 5-0 to canvass the votes cast in all ballot items within the jurisdiction of the State Board and authenticate county-level results.

The state certification came after the 100 county boards of elections certified results at the county level in mid-March and after post-election audits conducted in the past couple weeks verified the counts.

The State Board will issue certificates of nomination to the prevailing candidates in contests under State Board jurisdiction. The Secretary of State provides results of the presidential preference primary to the state political parties.
There are three contests under county board jurisdiction that are still subject to election protests: the Democratic nomination for NC Senate District 41, and the Republican nominations for NC House Districts 73 and 82.

More than 1.8 million registered North Carolinians voted in the primary, a 24% turnout.

“Today, the State Board made sure that the votes of 1.8 million North Carolinians who voted in the primary were counted,” said Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the State Board of Elections. “We appreciate the hard work of election officials and poll workers across North Carolina who helped make this primary a success. We now turn our attention to the second primary in May and, of course, the presidential election in November.”

Post-election Audits and Recounts

After every election, elections officials conduct a series of audits and, when necessary, recounts, to confirm the election results.

Findings of post-election audits are detailed in the Post-Election Audit Report for the Primary Election on March 5, 2024.

Put simply, the audits confirmed that results tabulated by machine are accurate and that there is no evidence of fraud or other irregularities that could have affected outcomes in the primary.

Also, county boards of elections conducted machine recounts in close contests across the state. These recounts found the initial machine counts were accurate, with very small differences in some counts but no changes in winners.

“These audits and recounts once again showed that voters can trust the certified and tested voting equipment to accurately count ballots in North Carolina elections,” Brinson Bell said.

Second Primaries

The State Board on Tuesday also ordered second primaries to be held on May 14, including the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor (Hal Weatherman and Jim O’Neill) and Republican nomination for state auditor (Jack Clark and Dave Boliek).

Under state law, a second primary may be requested by the second-place candidate if no candidate receives more than 30% of the votes cast in that contest.