More mail-in voting in run-off race in NC’s 11th district could provide timetable for November election results

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It may take some time before the Republican nominee for North Carolina’s 11th congressional district is going to be. On Tuesday, Lynda Bennett and Madison Cawthorn faced each other in a run-off. The winner goes on to face Democrat Moe Davis in November, along with Green Party nominee Tamara Zwinak and Libertarian Tracey Debruhl.

Three times the voters mailed in ballots for the run-off election than did in the March primary.

“They will count those votes at the canvas, which will be July 6. So, we could be waiting for a good while. And then, to make matters even more complicated, if it’s within 1 percentage point, folks have a couple of days to ask for a recount,” said Western Carolina University political science professor Chris Cooper.

He said increased mail-in voting will be the case in the fall, too, in North Carolina and across the country. Come November, it may take days or even weeks to learn who won the presidency and who controls the Senate.

“So, the Senate is going to be extremely close. You have this these core four states that matter. Of course, North Carolina is one of them, so it is entirely possible we won’t know who the North Carolina senator is or who’s going to control the United States Senate moving forward for perhaps weeks after the election,” Cooper said.

The Thom Tillis – Cal Cunningham race is already slated to be the most expensive senate race in the country.

There are also tight races in local and state government.

“It’s a state where voting totals and margins are razor thin, and I think if you put a lot of mail-in votes on top of that, and perhaps some legal challenges, it’s going to sort of accelerate this process that we’ve seen where its  longer and longer to know who wins,” Cooper said. “I think it’s going to be incumbent on all of us on election night to make sure we are a little more patient than we’ve grown accustomed to.”

It might not be the hanging chad, but there may be a lot of hanging out and waiting.

“I think election night could become election fortnight going forward. It could be days or weeks before we know the answers, so brush up on your trivia from Bush the Gore. We might be seeing a lot more of those kinds of extended timelines before we know who’s going to be representing us come next winter” Cooper said.

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