Let’s start what we don’t know: We don’t know who the president will be, and it might take a while. There are estimates and projections from political experts and pollsters.
But in an effort to cut through the noise, we’re just going to focus on what we know — and what affects our lives here in Raleigh and Wake County.
Here’s what we do know: All elections results are still unofficial. We know how N.C. will continue processing votes until all results are tallied.
We know the likely (unofficial) outcome of some of the races, which include positions that affect the future of affordable housing, fair representation and the response to COVID-19.
With Election Night results, here’s what’s likely:
Deborah Ross, a Democrat, won the redrawn district that represents Raleigh voters.
While December 2019 might feel like a lifetime ago, this is the first general election with new, more fair, maps.
In case you missed it, a panel of judges found that the maps North Carolina had been using were partisan and gerrymandered. The districts’ boundaries benefitted the Republican party, the judges said. [see the before and after]
With the new maps, the majority of Wake County is in a new District 2, meaning our representative in the US House of Representatives would likely be a Democrat instead of a Republican because of the makeup of Wake County. That’s what happened, and Deborah K. Ross received more than 63% of the vote in unofficial results.
The other contentious federal race, for US Senate, is still too close to call between Republican Thom Tillis and Democrat Cal Cunningham.
We’ll get two new Wake County Commissioners:
If unofficial results stand, the Wake County would gain two new Commissioners:
Shinica Thomas in District 6 (59.5% of the vote) is a 20-year Wake County resident, the current Director of Advocacy and Educational Partnership for the Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines and a mother of two grown sons. The incumbent, Greg Ford, didn’t run for re-election.
Maria Cervania in District 3 (60.57% of the vote) has a background in public health and lived in Austin and California before finding home in Cary.
Current Commissioner for District 3, Jessica Holmes, ran for NC Commissioner of Labor, and the unofficial results show less than 2 percentage points between the two candidates. That race was not called as of Wednesday.
Current Commissioners who received the majority of the vote in their respective races and are likely to return include District 1’s Sig Hutchinson (61.87% of the vote) and District 7’s Vickie Adamson (62.44%).
District 2’s Matt Calabria, District 4’s Susan Evans and District 5’s James West ran unopposed. All of the likely Board of Commissioners are Democrats.
N.C. Governor Roy Cooper gets another term, continuing to lead NC’s COVID-19 response:
The Associated Press called the race for Democratic incumbent Cooper at 10:35 p.m. on Election Night. The AP determined challenger Dan Forest could not catch up with Cooper’s votes and called the race. [more about the AP’s process]
The unofficial results with all precincts reporting show 51.48% for Cooper to 47.06% for Forest.
Like other states navigating the pandemic, North Carolina’s public health restrictions are put in place by Gov. Cooper’s executive orders. His reelection shows voters want his leadership to continue.
In the other top state offices (called the Council of State), the AP called several races for Republicans: Mark Robinson (Lieutenant Governor), Steve Troxler (Agriculture Commissioner), Del Folwell (Treasurer) and Catherine Truitt (Superintendent of Public Instruction), WUNC reports.
The $80 million dollar affordable housing bond in Raleigh passed, read more about that here.
What happens next
We wait on the process of counting every vote, including provisional ballots cast on Election Day.
Absentee vote by mail ballots postmarked by Election Day will be accepted until Nov. 12 in North Carolina. That’s the process outlined by the North Carolina State Board of Elections, which was previously challenged in court but allowed.
The Election Night results included mail-in absentee ballots that arrived by 5 p.m. Nov. 2 (the day before Election Day). Now, Wake County and other N.C. counties’ election boards will continue to process mail-in absentee ballots that arrived on Election Day until Nov. 12.
If that’s how you voted, and you’re tracking your ballot on BallotTrax, you should still get your “Accepted” notice if/when it’s accepted.
When will we see more results? Don’t expect to see more unofficial results before the county canvass, or certification, on Nov. 13. Wake County Board of Elections Member Gerry Cohen tweeted the remaining ballots could be counted as early as the night before, Nov. 12. Wake and Mecklenburg (Charlotte) counties have higher estimated numbers of mail-in ballots that could arrive.
While this process isn’t new — the 10-day post-election process happens every election between unofficial results on Election Night and county certification — more people voted by mail because of the pandemic. Since the outcome of the outstanding votes’ tally could determine the results of several races, we’re all paying closer attention.
In the case of any recounts, those would happen between Nov. 13-24 in North Carolina.
Nothing is official until the state certifies the results on Nov. 24.
Questions about the process? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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