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How you can verify your vote counted in North Carolina

The 2020 election raised concerns for some that their vote wasn’t counted. Many of these claims were proven untrue, but we are once again seeing these concerns.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The 2020 election raised concerns for some people that their vote wasn’t being counted. Many of these claims were not proven to be true, but as we are once again in an election year, some are asking questions about how they can know their vote will be counted.

THE QUESTION

Can a voter confirm the status of their vote in North Carolina?

THE SOURCES

THE ANSWER

This is true.

Yes, a voter can confirm the status of their vote in North Carolina.

WHAT WE FOUND

Depending on which voting method you choose, there are different ways of knowing your ballot was received and counted by your county board of elections.

If you vote in person you insert your ballot directly into a tabulator at your voting place. When you do this, your selections are immediately recorded on a memory card.

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“I have a record of everything you did right there,” Dickerson said.

If you vote on election day, you can confirm your ballot was counted by using the Voter Search tool on the North Carolina State Board of Election’s website.

“Voter history will then put out there everybody's name that voted," Dickerson said. "And then you can go in there and say, 'Yep, that's me. I voted, boom, they got me.'"

Under North Carolina law, votes by mail and at early voting sites are considered absentee votes. You can see that your vote is counted in the “Your Absentee Ballot” section of the Voter Search database on the North Carolina State Board of Elections website.

If you voted early, your “Absentee Status” will show “VALID RETURN,” the “Return Method” will be “IN PERSON” and your “Return Status” will be “ACCEPTED.” This status is typically updated by the day after you cast your ballot at an early voting site.

If you voted by mail, the “Return Method” will be “MAIL” and your “Return Status” will be “ACCEPTED” or “ACCEPTED - CURED”.

No matter how you vote, your ballot status will also show up in the “Voter History” section. That happens as soon as your county completes the post-election process of assigning voter history to your record. This may take a couple of weeks or longer.

“My five-member bipartisan board will actually certify the election 10 days later, after the election," Dickerson said. "They'll say, 'OK, these numbers are true. Everything we did here is perfect. We certify these to be correct.' Then shortly after that, we then post everybody's voted history.”

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Contact Meghan Bragg at mbragg@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.  

VERIFY is dedicated to helping the public distinguish between true and false information. The VERIFY team, with help from questions submitted by the audience, tracks the spread of stories or claims that need clarification or correction. Have something you want VERIFIED? Text us at 704-329-3600 or visit /verify. 

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