N.C. election officials agree to accept absentee ballots a week after Election Day
The North Carolina State Board of Elections on Tuesday announced it will tentatively count mail-in ballots received by Nov. 12 — up to nine days after the election — so long as they're postmarked on or before Election Day.
Why it matters: If approved by the court, the agreement — which settles a lawsuit brought by a group representing retirees — could see scores of additional votes counted in the crucial battleground state.
Worth noting: The settlement keeps in place a rule requiring voters to have a witness sign their absentee ballot envelope.
- The State Board will now permit voters whose witnesses fail to fill required fields to correct those errors through an affidavit of the voter.
- "Issues with deficient witness information on mail-in ballots have disproportionately affected Black voters," AP writes.
The big picture: Four other presidential swing states — Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin — have extended the deadline by which absentee ballots will be counted.
What they're saying: “Voters deserve certainty," State Board Chair Damon Circosta said. "Our board, both Democrats and Republicans, agreed unanimously to make these commonsense changes to our process amid the Covid-19 pandemic,”
- “We have ensured that our election process is secure and accessible.”
What to watch: Both the state and the group that sued have agreed to the settlement details, however it must still be approved by a judge.
Go deeper: Court battles shift mail-in voting deadlines in battleground states