RALEIGH, N.C. – The race for chief justice remains the top unresolved race after Tuesday's statewide election canvass.
The North Carolina Board of Elections certified the results of the 2020 election just before noon. The move concludes all of the post-Election Day steps officials must take.
The canvass vote did not include five races within the state board's purview that still have pending challenges. By far the highest profile is the race for Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court.
Forty-one counties had yet to finish their recounts for that race as of early Tuesday afternoon. Republican Paul Newby so far has maintained his lead of a little more than 400 votes over Democrat Cheri Beasley.
Also excluded from the canvass vote were the races for House District 36, Judicial Circuit 10F, Wayne County Register of Deeds and the Hoke County Board of Education. This list does not include a handful of county-administered races that are currently undergoing recounts.
Tuesday's vote was not unanimous. Tommy Tucker, one of two Republicans on the board, voted not to certify the results of the election because of the board's changes to the absentee ballot verification process in late September.
At the time, board members made changes to the process that allows voters fix problems with their absentee ballots. Tucker said any changes to election procedures are solely the domain of the state legislatures under the U.S. Constitution. He said the changes did not impact the result of the election but could have in a truly close race.
The board's three Democrats took issue with Tucker's comments. Stella Anderson said the board's actions had been reviewed and approved by the courts. She said the board took the actions it did due to concerns regarding the U.S. Postal Service's ability to deliver mail-in ballots.
The canvass also officially certifies Donald Trump as the winner of the presidential race in North Carolina. By law, North Carolina's electors must award Trump all 15 of the state's electoral votes when the Electoral College meets on December 14. The move comes on the same day Pennsylvania officials formally certified Joe Biden as the winner of the presidential election there.