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NC to delay results after extending voting hours at four locations due to technical issues

Election results will be delayed almost an hour in the Tar Heel State after the North Carolina State Board of Elections (NCSBE) voted Tuesday to extend hours at four polling locations due to early delays from technical issues. 

The NCSBE, which oversees more than 2,600 polling sites in the state, moved to extend voting at four locations in three counties by various amounts of time. In North Carolina, polling sites remain open until 7:30 p.m. EST, but with the extensions, the earliest any election results could be released is 8:15 p.m. EST. 

The Plainview Fire Station polling site in Sampson County saw the longest voting time extension, with the NCSBE giving the site 45 extra minutes, while a second site in the county was given 24 extra minutes. 

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The Bluford Elementary School polling site in Greensboro will remain open 34 extra minutes, and the polling site at the First Missionary Baptist Church in Concord in Cabarrus County will remain open an extra 17 minutes. 

The Cabarrus County government tweeted Tuesday that the delay in voting at the First Missionary Baptist Church was “due to an issue with the onsite printer.”

NBC News reported that the Plainview Fire Station polling site also had printer issues that delayed the beginning of in-person voting on Election Day, while NBC affiliate WRAL-TV in Raleigh, N.C. reported that the Guilford County issue was due to human-related delays in opening the site. 

The Hill has reached out to Sampson and Guilford counties for comment. 

The NCSBE noted in a statement after the vote that all votes cast during the extensions will be counted as provisional ballots, and that state law authorizes the board to extend voting times at locations where voting was disrupted for over 15 minutes.

“With 2,660 polling sites, it’s not unusual for minor issues to occur at polling sites that result in a brief disruption of voting,” the NCSBE said. “The State Board routinely meets to discuss the extension of hours when the need arises.”

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The technical difficulties at the polling sites were some of a number of glitches that occurred over the course of Election Day.

Officials in Franklin County, Ohio, switched to using paper pollbooks to check voters in after a technical issue limited their ability to upload all registration information into electronic check-in systems. Systems in Spalding County, Georgia, went down county-wide due to a technical glitch, with paper ballots used until the systems were restored. 

Federal officials expressed confidence in the security of the election, with a senior official at the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency telling reporters on a call that there was no indication any of the technical glitches were due to malicious cyber targeting. 

“What we’re really stressing is that when you see technology challenges or failures, more often than not, it is very, very, very rarely a cyber-related incident, it is typically a technology challenge, a misconfiguration, a failure,” the official said. “Based on everything we have seen, that is what is going on out there.”