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Forsyth County absentee totals released

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Absentee ballot totals released by the Forsyth County Board of Elections show practically no chance that any election result will change when the counting of those ballots begins later this week.

Tim Tsujii, the director of elections in Forsyth County, said the county has only 1,243 absentee ballots left to count in the 2022 general election, along with 1,260 provisional ballots for the elections board to rule on.

An additional 100 absentee ballots were received that will be disqualified for one reason or another, including arriving too late to be counted, Tsujii said. 

The only contest decided here by fewer than 2,500 votes was in the race for N.C. House District 74, where incumbent Republican Jeff Zenger defeated Democratic challenger Carla Catalan Day by only 2,008 votes.

That contest was confined to an area in the western part of Forsyth containing only 22% of the county's total population, but Tsujii said Wednesday that the provisional ballots seem to be distributed from all around the county. The people who cast ballots outside House District 74 would not have voted in the contest between Zenger and Day.

As well, it is typical that many provisional ballots end up not being counted at all because the election board determines the ballot is invalidly cast.

In the only other close contest, the hard-fought race for district attorney, the winning margin for incumbent Republican District Attorney Jim O'Neill over Democratic challenger Denise Hartsfield was 3,320 votes — too wide a margin for the remaining ballots to change.

Both Hartsfield and Day conceded their losses on election day.

Provisional ballots are ones cast by people whose registration status can't be determined when they show up to vote. The ballots are individually sealed in an envelope and put aside for a determination on whether they are valid.

The county elections board will meet Thursday to rule on absentee and provisional ballots, and will certify the election results on Friday.



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