The NC State Board of Elections files a motion to ensure more lawful absentee ballots count

Board of Elections proposes changes to absentee balloting

RALEIGH, N.C. (WECT) - The State Board of Elections filed a motion in Wake County Superior Court on Tuesday in a lawsuit regarding absentee voting processes in North Carolina.

The joint motion asking the court to approve a settlement by the North Carolina Alliance for Retired Americans aims to make it easier for voters to fix problems with their absentee ballots.

“Voters deserve certainty. Our board, both Democrats and Republicans, agreed unanimously to make these commonsense changes to our process amid the Covid-19 pandemic,” said State Board chair Damon Circosta. “We have ensured that our election process is secure and accessible.”

In the motion, the parties agree that the witness requirement for absentee voters will remain in place; but, if the witness fails to fill out the required fields on the envelope, the State Board will allow a voter to correct that mistake through an affidavit of the voter.

To date, in the 2020 general election, incomplete witness information has been the main problem with absentee ballot envelopes. Previously, voters would have to cast a new ballot.

If the court approves the agreement, the following issues can be corrected with an affidavit sent to voters by their county board of elections:

  • Voter did not sign the Voter Certification
  • Voter signed in the wrong place
  • Witness or assistant did not print name
  • Witness or assistant did not print address
  • Witness or assistant did not sign
  • Witness or assistant signed on the wrong line

Click here for more details on absentee ballot deficiencies and how they can be cured.

Acceptance date for mailed-in ballots extension

If the motion is approved by the court, the date the county will accept mailed-in absentee ballots will also be extended from November 6 to Thursday, November 12 at 5 p.m. Ballots must still be postmarked on or before Election Day.

Ballots can still be returned in-person by the voter, or the voter’s near relative or legal guardian if authorized.

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