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Sat Oct 17, 2020, 12:49 PM

Deficient NC absentee ballots frozen pending further rulings


By JONATHAN DREW Associated Press 23 hrs ago


The North Carolina Court of Appeals issued a stay Thursday night that froze updated rules announced last month for dealing with absentee ballot problems through at least Monday, pending further legal arguments in a state lawsuit. Earlier in the day, U.S. District Judge William Osteen also ruled to maintain a freeze issued by a federal court on the same rules through the end of Friday.

The state elections board will seek to have the state court stay removed so counties can begin asking voters to correct deficient ballots, said Alex Peters, a lawyer in the attorney general’s office who’s representing the state board.

The state estimates that 10,000 absentee ballots with various deficiencies are on hold, and those voters can’t even be notified unless the state and federal courts allow the state to move forward with updated absentee ballot rules, Peters said at a hearing Friday morning in the state lawsuit.

“The current situation is paralysis,” he told a judge, adding: “There is simply not time to keep litigating this.”

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