RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – As of Monday, more than 635,000 absentee ballots have been cast in North Carolina. State data shows about 98 percent of them have been accepted, but that still leaves thousands of others with issues. Now voters have a chance to fix them.
Many voters drop their absentee ballots in the mail. Others, like Amanda MacLaren, stop by their local board of elections.
“I came to drop off my mom’s absentee ballot she’s immunocompromised,” MacLaren explained. She said her mom, who’s voting for the first time, really had to pay attention to the directions.
“It definitely took a while for her to go through it,” she said. “I think, as long as you read the directions carefully and read them again if you’re not sure, it’s pretty simple.”
Even the most careful voters can make mistakes. The North Carolina State Board of Elections said about 10,000 ballots in the state have problems that need addressing. Legal battles put the process on hold for weeks.
The state is now directing county boards of election to notify voters about problems with their ballots so they can correct them.
“We’re going to push to get everything out as fast as we can. We’ve got an entire team working on it,” said Wake County Director of Elections Gary Sims.
He said the county is contacting about 600 voters. About half will receive a new ballot because they are missing a signature from a witness or assistant, or their envelopes arrived unsealed. Their first ballot will not count. The other half can address other ballot issues by signing a certification.
“We are going to start by getting things in the mail to them — the explanation of why they’re receiving it — and then if there’s difficulties after that, if we have phone numbers, if we have emails, we’re just going to do everything we can to try to get in touch with them,” he said.
Voters who need to correct issues with their ballots are asked to return them as soon as possible.
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