Less than two weeks away from the general election, many voters across the country are planning how to vote, whether by mail or in person. However, as mail balloting has proceeded in the state, two trends seem to undermine the idea that young voters will make up a large fraction of mail votes cast in North Carolina.
This memo looks more closely at voting trends in the state's 2020 presidential preference primaries, which are semi-closed, allowing unaffiliated voters to choose the primary in which to vote. In particular, it focuses on the state's voter turnout and the vote modes chosen by voters, and provides a breakdown of unreturned and uncounted mail ballots by age, race, and county.
North Carolina Updates and Election News:
10/29/20 - Ballot Deadline: The Supreme Court has upheld the state's extension to the ballot acceptance period. The deadline for North Carolina absentee ballots to be received by county boards of elections is November 12th, provided that they have been postmarked no later than November 3rd.
10/22/20 - Accessible Voting: The NCSBE has released a portal which allows voters who are visually impaired to request, receive, and return an absentee ballot online.The witness requirement remains in place, and the deadline to submit this online absentee ballot is November 3rd at 5 p.m. EST.
10/19/20 - Ballot Curing Process: County board of elections will start notifying voters if their ballots have errors, and inform them of the process to fix or "cure" their ballot. These errors include the voter's signature being in the wrong place or missing the address of the witness. If the ballot is missing a signature, the voter will have to submit a new ballot.
10/14/20 - Litigation Update: A Federal judge ruled that North Carolina ballots must have a witness signature. Without a witness signature, voters must cast an entirely new ballot. However, voters can fix minor problems, such as an incomplete witness address or signature in the wrong place by returning an affidavit. Further, the judge stated they have no authority to alter the deadline to accept absentee ballots, resulting in mail-in ballots being counted until Monday, November 12 as long as they are postmarked by November 3.
10/2/20 - Litigation Update: The NC Board of Elections reached a settlement with a political group that will extend the amount of time a mail-in ballot has to arrive after Election Day from three days to nine. In addition, the Board of Elections will give voters who are missing a witness signature on their ballot an opportunity to correct the mistake after submission, without having to fill out a new ballot. Lastly, county boards are instructed to identify ballot drop stations at all county board offices and early voting locations.
9/8/20 - Absentee Ballot Tracker: The NCSBE is implementing a ballot-tracking software on their website for absentee voters. Ballots will have "intelligent mail barcode[s]," which will communicate with voters' mobile devices via BallotTrax services. Voters can also cross-check BallotTrax alerts with the NCSBE's Voter Search Tool.