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An absentee ballot election worker stuffs ballot applications at the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections office in Charlotte, North Carolina, in September. Photo: Logan Cyrus/AFP via Getty Images

North Carolina can accept absentee ballots that are postmarked Nov. 3, Election Day, until Nov. 12, a federal appeals court decided Tuesday in a 12-3 majority ruling.

Why it matters: The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling against state and national Republican leaders settles a lawsuit brought by a group representing retirees, and it could see scores of additional votes counted in the key battleground state.

"North Carolina voters deserve clarity on whether they must rely on an overburdened Post Office to deliver their ballots within three days after Election Day."

What they're saying: "Several other provisions from the consent judgment remain in effect," said Richard Fiesta, executive director of the Alliance for Retired Americans, which brought the suit, in an emailed statement.

  • "Voters can continue to submit their mail ballots curbside by providing their name orally, without waiting in line with other one-stop voters, thus alleviating long lines and potential exposure to COVID-19 and will be able to cure several ballot witness issues under guidance released by the North Carolina State Board of Elections."

The big picture: The coronavirus pandemic has seen the 2020 elections fight spill over into courtrooms, with the Supreme Court denying on Monday a request from Pennsylvania's Republican Party to shorten the deadlines for mail-in ballots in the key state.

Go deeper

Updated Nov 30, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Wisconsin, Arizona certify Biden's victories

Photo: Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Arizona and Wisconsin officials confirmed the presidential election results in their states, formalizing President-elect Joe Biden's victories in the key battlegrounds.

Why it matters: The moves deal yet another blow to President Trump's efforts to block or delay certification in key swing states that he lost. 

1 hour ago - Sports

The end of COVID’s grip on sports may be in sight

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Packed stadiums and a more normal fan experience could return by late 2021, NIAID director Anthony Fauci said yesterday.

Why it matters: If Fauci's prediction comes true, it could save countless programs from going extinct next year.

Trump's 2024 begins

Trump speaking to reporters in the White House on Thanksgiving. Photo: Erin Schaff - Pool/Getty Images

President Trump is likely to announce he'll run again in 2024, perhaps before this term even ends, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: Trump has already set in motion two important strategies to stay relevant and freeze out other Republican rivals.