North Carolina—a key battleground state in the 2020 election—will keep four polling places open longer after a Tuesday vote by the North Carolina State Board of Elections. The board’s decision was made because the four polling sites opened late, and the extension means that reporting on statewide election results will be delayed 45 minutes.
According to the Associated Press, North Carolina hosts more than 2,600 polling locations, the vast majority of which are scheduled to close at 7:30 p.m. State elections officials said last week that if there are any polling places that have operation hours extended on Election Day—a thing Board Executive Director Karen Brinson Bell said isn’t an uncommon occurrence, AP reports—no election results for the state will be posted until after all polls are closed.
The polling places that opened late include one site in Cabarrus County, one in Guilford County and two in Sampson County. The delays were at least partly due to issues with printers or other electronic equipment. The extensions, which only apply to the individual precincts and not other sites in those counties, range from 17 minutes to 45 minutes and match the extra time it took to get them open.
In other words, the number of extended hours at voting locations depends on exactly how late each site opened. For example: According to WXII 12, the site at Bluford Elementary School in Greensboro will remain open for an extra 34 minutes and close at 8:04 p.m. because it opened 34 minutes late.
The longest extension of 45 minutes was granted to one of the polling stations in Samson County. The delay means that state election results will be announced at 8:15 p.m. instead of 7:30 p.m.