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Absentee ballots go out Friday in North Carolina

Absentee ballots start going out Friday, but ballots can be counted all the way through Nov. 6.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — This Friday isn't just any Friday. It's the start of the Labor Day Weekend, which for many is a long weekend without work. Not for the folks in the elections office. Friday is the first day absentee ballots can be mailed out to voters who requested them.

“We are going to be sending out a huge wave of ballots starting Friday. We're working all weekend to get the ballots out. We have a huge amount of requests and it's all hands on deck working to get all these envelopes stuffed and mailed out, but we can't start until Friday,” Charlie Collicutt, Guilford County Board of Elections Director said.

RELATED: The easiest way to get an absentee ballot in NC

North Carolina is the first state in the country to send out absentee ballots and it all starts Friday. If you've put your request in and you haven't received a ballot yet, it’s because they can't legally go out until Friday.

Now, what happens when the ballots start coming back? Can they start counting them?

“The board is allowed to approve ballots. We can begin opening them, we can run them into our tabulator but not tabulate them, not count the votes, just have the data within the machine,” explained Collicutt.

Credit: WFMY

The board can approve ballots and put them in the machine at every board meeting. 2WTK checked the calendar and there are nine meetings scheduled before Election Day.

On Election Day, all ballots tabulated will then be counted and votes will be released when the polls close at 7:30 p.m.

However, the counting isn't over. Election Day results are unofficial results. Here's why absentee ballots that are postmarked by Election Day and are delivered by Friday, November 6 are allowed to be counted.

Final election results aren't made official until 10 days after the election so all voted can be tallied. This is called the canvass. This year the 10-day deadline is Friday the 13.