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Fri Oct 2, 2020, 08:22 PM

Judge OK's North Carolina plan to ease absentee voting rules

Source: Associated Press

Judge OKs North Carolina plan to ease absentee voting rules

October 2, 2020

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) A North Carolina judge on Friday approved a newly reached settlement that will extend the time for counties to collect absentee ballots and make it easier for people to correct missing witness information on their ballot.

The state board of elections struck a deal last week with the North Carolina Alliance for Retired Americans allowing mail-in ballots to be accepted through Nov. 12 as long as they are postmarked by the Nov. 3 Election Day a six-day extension of the previous Nov. 6 deadline.

The decision by Wake County Superior Court Judge Bryan Collins to approve the agreement also means county election officials can mail voters an affidavit that can be returned to remedy any outstanding issues with their ballot. Voters previously needed to send an entirely new ballot to correct issues with incomplete witness information. Under state law, North Carolina voters this election cycle must have one witness sign off on their ballot for it to be counted. In other election years, two witnesses are needed.

The state elections board announced Thursday it would halt plans to send out affidavits as the settlement makes its way though the courts. Two federal cases are pending.

When it announced the settlement on Sept. 22, the state board said that the rule changes should be implemented by county boards immediately based on emergency powers it argued its executive director had under state law. Collins sided with the board on Friday, saying it had the authority to implement the changes in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.


Read more: https://apnews.com/article/virus-outbreak-election-2020-north-carolina-elections-raleigh-1aea4e8aa2416b4b8d211d9cf433a99b

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