North Carolina

Status of Audit Legislation: 
Signed into law 2005

This information was updated in April 2014 using a version of the North Carolina General Statutes that reflected changes made by the 2013 legislative session. References to the statutes are preceded by “NCGS” and  followed by the applicable section numbers. 

State Summary


Signed into law in 2005, North Carolina's audit law requires that only one election contest per election be audited. It is one of only a handful of states that requires that the size of the audit sample be chosen in consultation with a statistician to ensure that the sample is statistically significant for the given election. The audit results are binding upon the official election results and may lead to a full manual recount.


Unless otherwise noted, all information below comes from the NCGS 163-182.1(b)(1).

Sampling Method: 

One or more full precincts, full counts of mailed absentee ballots, full counts of one or more one‑stop early voting sites, or a combination, per county. The size of the sample of each category shall be chosen to produce a statistically significant result and shall be chosen after consultation with a statistician.


If the discrepancy between the hand‑to‑eye count and the mechanical or electronic count is significant, a complete hand‑to‑eye count shall be conducted.

State Board of Elections
Who Conducts the Audit?: 
County Election Officials
Location of Random Selection: 
Types of Voting Machines in Use: 
DREs and Optical Scanners For more detailed information, see Verified Voting's website:
Races that are Audited: 
One Statewide ballot item per county OR the Presidential race If there is no statewide ballot item, the State Board shall provide a process for selecting district or local ballot items to adequately sample the electorate. See: NC Election laws § 163–182.1 (1)
Voting Units that are Audited: 
Precincts, mailed absentee ballots, one-stop early voting sites, or a combination. From page 304 of NC Election laws § 163–182.1 (1)
Timeline for Audit: 

The random selection of precincts for any county shall be done publicly after the initial count of election returns for that county is publicly released or 24 hours after the polls close on election day, whichever is earlier.

Completed Before Certification?: 


Absentees, Provisionals and Early Voting: 
Absentee and early ballots are included.
Do the results of the audit become the official tally?: 
Local Contact Person: 
Joyce McCloy, The North Carolina Coalition for Verified Voting