RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Gov. Roy Cooper (D) has vetoed a bill that would have set the deadline for mail-in ballots to arrive at county election offices to Election Day.

Republicans said the bill stemmed from what happened during the 2020 election when Attorney General Josh Stein (D) and the North Carolina State Board of Elections settled a lawsuit that extended the mail-in ballot deadline.

As long as those ballots were postmarked by Election Day, they would still count as long as they made it to election officials within nine days.

The bill allowed for exceptions for military and overseas voters.

On Thursday, Cooper vetoed the bill saying:

“The legislature ironically named this bill ‘The Election Day Integrity Act’ when it actually does the opposite. Election integrity means counting every legal vote, but this bill virtually guarantees that some will go uncounted.”

Cooper vetoed a similar bill two years ago saying it could lead to legitimate voters being incorrectly removed from voting rolls and that the information would be public record and could lead to harassment.

House Speaker Tim Moore (R) released a statement on the veto that read:

“Sadly, this veto will undermine North Carolina voters’ confidence in the outcome of future elections. Most states already have the same requirement for ballots to be received in a timely manner. Why shouldn’t North Carolinians be given the same confidence in our Election Day process?”

According to state election officials, during the nine days following the 2020 election, local elections offices received and counted 14,539 mail-in ballots. Of those, 870 were military and overseas ballots. More than 5.5 million ballots were cast in the election.