by Andrew Trunsky
President Donald Trump’s campaign and the Republican National Committee on Saturday filed suit to prevent North Carolina officials from adopting measures that would allow a greater number of absentee ballots to be counted in November.
The State Board of Elections said Tuesday that it would allow November ballots with incomplete information to be fixed without requiring the voter to redo their ballot, leading Republicans to file suit arguing that the system would lead to “fraud, coercion, theft, and otherwise illegitimate voting,” the Associated Press reported.
Originally, voters who returned a ballot with missing information or verification would have to request and complete a new ballot in order for their vote to be counted, but the guidelines adopted by the board allow for voters to submit an affidavit verifying their original ballot.
The Republicans’ suit contends that the board’s guidelines are the result of a partisan “backroom deal” that erodes election laws passed by the state legislature, the AP reported.
“While touted as allowing greater access to voters during the current pandemic – an objective already addressed in recent months by the General Assembly – the actual effect is to undermine protections that help ensure the upcoming election will be not only safe and accessible but secure, fair, and credible,” the suit says.
The board’s decision also led to the resignation of two of its Republican members, U.S. News reported.
“It is impossible to have true bipartisanship when both sides of the political aisle do not have the important and vital information needed to make the right decisions,” ex-board member Ken Raymond wrote in his resignation letter.
The GOP suit also includes North Carolina Reps. Greg Murphy and Dan Bishop, and lists the state elections board and Damon Circosta, its chairman, as defendants, AP reported.
The board did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
North Carolina was the first state to start mailing absentee ballots to registered voters who had requested them. Over 1 million people have requested a ballot so far, and nearly 243,000 people have casted their vote as of Monday morning.
The state has also emerged as a critical battleground at the presidential and senatorial levels.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has held on to a slim lead in the state, while Democratic senatorial nominee Cal Cunningham consistently leads GOP Sen. Thom Tillis by single digits, polls show.
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