Updated: After taking a closer look, elections officials are convinced that a Sampson County man did not, as previously suspected, cast two ballots – one during early voting and another on Election Day – and instead think a mistake by a poll worker created confusion.
Sylvia Thornton, chairwoman of the county elections board, said a poll worker gave a voter the ballot of someone with the same last name and had voted early. That sparked concerns that a person had voted twice.
"It was a mistake, but we've taken care of it, and every vote has been counted correctly," Thornton said.
The votes could get a closer look during canvass, when county boards meet to overlook unofficial results released Election Day to make sure there are no irregularities.
Donna Mashburn, Sampson County elections director, said a precinct official notified her of the complaint immediately after the problem was realized the morning.
13,649 ballots were cast at one-stop sites in Sampson during early voting, and the complaint was the first of its type in the county so far this election, Mashburn said.
Johnnie McLean, deputy director of the state Board of Elections, said people casting multiple ballots has happened in the past, but only infrequently and usually as a result of a mistake by a poll worker or by elderly people who vote twice by accident.