Final Ballots Could Expand Obama's North Carolina Lead

North Carolina's election chief says he wouldn't be surprised to see Barack Obama's slim lead in the state increase as counties count thousands of provisional ballots.

State Board of Elections director Gary Bartlett estimated Wednedsay there are about 40,000 provisional ballots, cast by voters whose eligibility to vote must be confirmed.

He said history suggests that about 65 percent of those ballots will be eligible and they are likely to break toward the winner in numbers similar to that of Election Day.

Unofficial election results show Obama with 12,106 votes more than Republican rival John McCain. Obama has already won the race to the White House, even without North Carolina's final results.

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