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What is the “Day of Canvass?”

The “Day of Canvass” is when the county board of elections compiles election results from all precincts and makes the official report of the outcome of the election within the county. The board meets at 11 a.m. on the 10th day after every election held on the same day as a general election in November of the even-numbered year, and at 11 a.m. on the seventh day after every other election, to complete the canvass of votes cast and authenticate the count in every ballot type in the county by determining that the votes have been counted correctly.

In most cases, the canvass meeting is held at the county board of elections office. Following the county canvass, the state board approves the official election results.

To conduct the canvass, the county board examines the returns from precincts, including:

  • absentee official ballots,
  • sample hand-to-eye paper ballot counts, and
  • provisional ballots.

While North Carolina's process of compiling election results begins at individual voting precincts after the polls close on election night, the "canvass" process continues when the county board of elections compiles election results from all precincts and makes the official report of the outcome of the election within the county.

Canvass and Coronavirus

Encourage your county BOE to offer virtual or phone meetings with real-time public comment for those who can't attend.

2020 Primary Canvass Monitoring Webinar

During this informative training featuring Southern Coalition for Social Justice's Allison RIggs, learn best practices to monitor the county canvass process, help election experts flag problems, and advocate for better elections. View presentation slides. (March 9, 2020).

Interested in becoming a canvass monitor to help make sure votes count in a county near you?

Become a Canvass Monitor

Take 3 minutes to fill out the canvass monitoring interest form and let us know where you'll be (or where you're willing to travel).

Find out the more about what to expect at the “Day of Canvass” with our new “cheat sheet.”

Canvass Monitor "Cheat Sheet"

Check out what to expect and look for at the canvass meeting.

Are you ready to be a canvass monitor and report back to us on the results of your county’s canvass? 

Canvass Monitor Report Form

Fill out this form and let us know what happened.

Got questions about canvass monitoring and how you can play a part? Email Sailor Jones at sailor@democracync.org