RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN/AP) — North Carolina Republican leaders have filed a lawsuit in the U.S. Supreme Court to stop a federal appeals court ruling that North Carolina can accept absentee ballots for more than a week after Election Day as long as they were postmarked by Nov. 3.
North Carolina Senate Leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore sought a stay with the high court on Tuesday.
The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling a week ago declining to block the deadline extension that was announced in late September.
At the time, the State Board of Elections increased the deadline from three days to nine, as long as ballots were postmarked by Election Day.
The change was part of a settlement with voting rights advocates. State and national Republican leaders went to court to fight the deadline extension.
The state Republican leaders said that the plan to extend the dates to accept absentee ballots was a “secret” deal.
“The deal was worked out in secret between the Democratic Party-controlled N.C. State Board of Elections, Democratic Attorney General Josh Stein, and Democratic Party super-lawyer Marc Elias,” a news release from Berger’s office said.