54.9 F
Beckley
Tuesday, October 27, 2020 2:01pm

Deficient North Carolina absentee ballots have new fix: State Board of Elections



North Carolina mail-in absentee ballots returned without all needed information can be amended without forcing the voter to fill out a new blank ballot, election officials agreed Tuesday, according to a report.

Issues with deficient witness information on mail-in ballots have disproportionately affected Black voters. Ballots cast by African Americans account for about 43 percent of those classified as having incomplete witness information, according to State Board of Elections data. Yet Black residents account for 16 percent of overall ballots returned.

“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 Damon Circosta, State Board chair. “We have ensured that our election process is secure and accessible.”

THE LATEST FROM FOX NEWS ON THE 2020 PRESIDENTIAL RACE

The new process would likely yield an upward tick in the number of counted ballots in this presidential battleground state.

The new guidance means that a ballot with deficient information won’t be considered “spoiled,” and the voter will be sent an affidavit to sign to rectify the problem.

The absentee ballot adjustments are part of a proposed joint settlement filed in Wake County court between the State Board of Elections and the North Carolina Alliance for Retired Americans, a union-affiliated group. The alliance argued that restrictive absentee rules burdened their right to vote during the COVID-19 pandemic, in violation of the state constitution.

The agreement with the North Carolina Alliance also says county board officials will now accept absentee ballots received through Nov. 12, as long as they were postmarked or turned in by Election Day. The previous rules had limited their receipt through Nov. 6.

And county election boards will make it easier for people to turn in their absentee ballots or those of a relative at early in-person voting sites across the state when they open in mid-October. They won’t have to fill out a voting log, but rather an election worker will do it for them.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

From more than 7 million registered voters in North Carolina, nearly 950,000 mail-in ballots already have requested for November. It’s a massive number compared to previous election cycles as people worried about the coronavirus favor traditional absentee ballots compared to in-person voting. Blank ballots began getting sent out in early September, and more than 153,000 ballots have already been returned and accepted for counting as of Tuesday morning, according to state data.

The state said about 1,700 ballots had been returned with incomplete witness information, making it the most common reason that ballots weren’t accepted.

North Carolina is one of eight states with witness and or notary public requirements for absentee ballots, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. North Carolina state law usually demands two witnesses, but lawmakers reduced the requirement to one this year because people isolated due to at-risk health conditions may find it difficult to locate two.



Source link

Recent Articles

Telefonica Brasil: In A Changing Industry (NYSE:VIV)

Telefônica Brasil S.A. (VIV), referred to as Vivo throughout this article, is the Brazilian telecommunications industry's market leader. Vivo is a telecommunications company...

DHS: App used in Iowa caucuses was not vetted for cybersecurity

Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf says the Iowa Democrat Party declined to have their new caucus app vetted by the department. FOX...

Mayim Bialik suggests replacing Amy Coney Barrett with her ‘Big Bang Theory’ character on Supreme Court

Mayim Bialik commented on the appointment of Amy Coney Barrett to the United States Supreme Court by suggesting her “Big Bang Theory” character...

US must act against Iranian diplomats over alleged election hacking, there must be consequences: Rep. Zeldin

The United States should respond “forcefully” in both words and actions against Iranian diplomats who are in the country in retaliation for Tehran’s...

Celebrities react to Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation: ‘The corruption is shameless’

Hollywood's biggest stars are speaking out following Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation to the Supreme Court on Monday.The Senate voted to confirm Barrett as an associate...

Related Stories