The North Carolina Board of Elections was moving to eliminate the requirement that voters must have a witness present and then sign their ballot after casting their vote to validate the authenticity of the vote. The motion was blocked by U.S. District Judge William Osteen. The law requires an adult to sign the ballot as a witness and has certain parameters for who qualifies as a witness.
Judge Osteen said he wants to meet with election officials because he is concerned “that alleged compliance with this court’s order is resulting in the elimination of a duly-enacted statue requiring a witness to an absentee ballot.”
The election board had created a new process that wouldn’t require a witness. Instead, election officials would contact the voter and ask them to sign a “cure” which would confirm their vote. Lawsuits are challenging the requirement and sourcing covid-19 as probable cause for doing away with the requirement, saying it could “be an unfair burden to voters who live alone and might be avoiding contact with others due to covid-19.”
Defenders of the requirement say it’s an essential safeguard in preventing absentee ballot fraud like what happened in the 9th Congressional District election in 2018.
Sources: Conservative Brief, The News & Observer; Photo- ABC News