The dead can vote in North Carolina. It just doesn't always count.
Recent probes by state and federal officials of voting records have turned up a few ballots apparently cast by deceased voters. That has led to claims of voter fraud.
Under state law, you must be eligible to vote on Election Day, and being dead makes you ineligible. But no one at the local or state level regularly checks the absentees for dead voters.
During a recount, political opponents on both sides will often comb through the data and ask for those ballots to be disqualified. The State Board of Elections relies on that competitiveness to weed out ballots that might swing a race.