More than 500K votes now officially cast in North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Another day, another record influx of absentee ballots at county boards of elections across North Carolina.

As of 5:00 a.m. Tuesday morning, state officials reported more than 492,000 ballots cast, but by 10:00 a.m. nearly 24,000 more were set to be counted just in Wake County.

"We're taking our responsibility very seriously," Keith Weatherly, a member of the Wake County Board of Elections, said. "We've got a great staff, professional staff, and volunteers helping with this. The Board is taking this very seriously to uphold the law and make sure this election is carried out under that law."

Weatherly and his colleagues spent several hours Tuesday morning and afternoon sifting through the tens of thousands of envelopes and checking them for proper signatures, addresses and witness information. Once approved, the sealed envelopes were wheeled over to a machine which unsealed them.

Election staff and volunteers then manually took out the ballot and put it aside for tabulation, which took place later in the afternoon. Unfortunately, officials said they're finding issues among some mail-in votes beyond the more common mistakes on the envelope.

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Thousands of votes aren't counted each year due to voters making common mistakes on their absentee ballots.

"We've had a few voters accidently put the instruction sheet instead of their ballot," board member Angela Hawkins said. "And it's one ballot per envelope. So if it's you and the family around the dinner table voting, make sure you've got your ballot in your envelope."

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The tally of the scanned votes remain secret and sealed inside several layers of security, and will remain that way until Election Night when preliminary results are announced.

"None of our voting is hooked up to the internet so people should be assured there won't be any outside influence coming to our election here," Weatherly said. "Never hooked up to the internet."

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