Absentee requests continue to roll in

Vote clipart

Between heavy marketing efforts, a presidential election, and fears of the COVID-19 virus, mail-in absentee ballots are coming into the Columbus County Board of Elections office by the box almost every day.

Latest figures from 9 a.m. Tuesday show 2,129 were recorded by this morning, with 1,452 coming from Democrats, 270 from Republicans and 401 Unaffiliated. Four Libertarians and two of the county’s five Green Party voters have also requested ballots.

Mail-in absentee ballots may also be delivered by hand, but must be sealed by the voter and witnessed.

Officials say that not all absentee ballots make it back to the elections board, since some folks decide instead to take advantage of in person early voting or even cast a ballot on Election Day.

Democrats have launched an effort to adopt so-called universal mail-in voting across the country. Concerns over COVID-19, and the usual high turnout in a presidential year, have led to more voters opting not to vote in person.

Nearly a million absentee ballot requests have been reported to the state board of elections, officials said this morning. At 9 a.m., 949,895 requests had been turned in statewide. 

More than half of those – 473,023 – are Democrats. Unaffiliateds total 306,045, and Republicans 166,831. 

By comparison, North Carolina has 7,144,785 registered voters. 

That number could increase, since North Carolina allows registration through Oct. 9, and voters may same-day register during the early voting period and cast a provisional ballot.

Elections officials also noted that even though North Carolina’s Voter ID provision has been deemed lawful, identification will not be required to cast a ballot this year. 

The N.C. Court of Appeals last week reinstated the Voter ID amendment, overturning a lower court ruling in favor of the NAACP. The organization claimed that the amendment was put forth by officials elected from districts that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to be racially gerrymandered, and House Speaker Tim Moore and State Senate Leader Phil Berger had no authority to propose the amendment. No other actions by the legislature – which had a supermajority of Republicans when the amendment was put forth – were challenged.

 Other litigation is still pending against the amendment.

North Carolina is the only state in the southeast without some form of voter identification. Federal judges ruled the state’s rules were discriminatory against minorities.

Oct. 27 is the deadline to request a mail-in ballot for the Nov. 3 election.

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About Jefferson Weaver 1386 Articles
Jefferson Weaver is the Managing Editor of Columbus County News and the News Director for WTXY AM1540 & Kool 103.9FM Radio. He can be reached at (910) 632-4965, or by email at jeffersonweaver@ColumbusCountyNews.com.