Editor’s note: How The Appalachian will report election results


The Appalachian will provide full Election Day coverage starting at 6:30 a.m. We will cover local, state and national elections with a heavy focus on Watauga County. 

The Appalachian will begin reporting election results at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday night. All reported numbers will come from the North Carolina State Board of Elections or the Watauga County Board of Elections. No local results are official until the Watauga County Board of Elections certifies the results in a county canvass after the election. No state results are official until the North Carolina Board of Elections certifies them. 

For local races — i.e. board of commissioners and board of education — The Appalachian will not call a race until there is no statistical way for a candidate to win. The Appalachian will still provide percentages for races that do not have an opponent.  

The Appalachian will use numbers from the Associated Press for all elections outside of North Carolina. 

Here is how the AP explains its race calling:

“AP does not make projections or name apparent or likely winners. If our race callers cannot definitively say a candidate has won, we do not engage in speculation. AP did not call the closely contested race in 2000 between George W. Bush and Al Gore – we stood behind our assessment that the margin in Florida made it too close to call.

Only when AP is fully confident a race has been won – defined most simply as the moment a trailing candidate no longer has a path to victory – will we make a call. In the race for president in 2016, that moment came at 2:29 a.m. ET the day after Election Day. Our APNewsAlert put it simply: -WASHINGTON (AP) – Donald Trump elected president of the United States.”

We will give as much context as possible to numbers that are coming in from across the state in the gubernatorial, Senate and presidential races. 

The AP provides more information about its process for counting votes and calling races on its website.