RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The 10-day post-election process of counting the remaining ballots and conducting audits to verify results has begun in North Carolina.

According to the North Carolina State Board of Elections, there are about 116,000 absentee by-mail ballots that could still be counted.

County boards of elections must still count these absentee by-mail ballots postmarked on or before Election Day. 

“We encourage the public to be patient and let the process unfold as it does in every election,” said Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the State Board of Elections. “All results reported on election night are unofficial. The post-election process ensures that all eligible voters’ ballots are counted and that voters can be confident that the results are accurate. This is a long-established process. This year is no different.”

The roughly 116,200 outstanding absentee-by-mail ballots breakdown as 37 percent Democratic, 39 percent unaffiliated, and 23 percent Republican.

Roughly 57 percent (65,900) of the outstanding ballots are pegged to the 25 counties where Biden currently leads, according to NCSBE data. Those counties also make up the nine most populous counties in the state (Wake, Mecklenburg, Guilford, Forsyth, Cumberland, Durham, Buncombe, Union, New Hanover).

The 100 bipartisan county boards will hold meetings to count the remaining provisional and absentee ballots and add them to unofficial election results on the Election Night Reporting website.

Most of the meetings will be held on Nov. 12, Nov. 13, but some will be held this week or early next week.

Unofficial results will be added to the totals in each county after these meetings. The State Board will provide a statewide schedule of absentee board meetings as soon as possible.

The final county canvass of results is Nov. 13. The state canvass is Nov. 24.

State law provides that county election boards must schedule post-election absentee board meetings at least two weeks before Election Day. The meeting schedule must be published once a week for two weeks in a newspaper. The law does not permit a county board to modify the meeting schedule after the election.

The number of absentee ballots ultimately counted will be fewer than 117,000 because some voters will not return their ballots and others voted in person on Election Day.

State officials say there is no way to know how many of those voters voted on Election Day for at least several days as counties perform the post-election task of assigning voter history.