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County boards of elections across North Carolina are now contacting voters whose absentee ballot return envelopes were not properly completed to inform them of the steps necessary to ensure their votes are counted.

Because of ongoing litigation, North Carolina’s ballot curing process had been on hold since October 4. 

The State Board reissued Numbered Memo 2020-19 on Monday afternoon, updating guidance on curing deficient absentee ballots based on recent court decisions. 

“The State Board has directed the county boards of elections to immediately begin reaching out to voters with problems with their absentee ballots,” said Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the N.C. State Board of Elections. “Our main focus continues to be ensuring all eligible voters can successfully and safely cast ballots in this important election.” 

As of 1:30 p.m. Monday, nearly 1.7 million North Carolinians, or 23 percent of registered voters, had cast ballots in the 2020 general election. In-person early voting continues through October 31, and Election Day is November 3. 

An estimated 10,000 ballots statewide have deficiencies that require a cure. The State Board will provide updated numbers of deficient ballots as county boards begin processing these ballots and entering them into the statewide election management system. 

Under the new guidance for curing absentee ballots, the following actions will be taken by county boards of elections: 

 Also as a result of recent court decisions, the State Board of Elections on Monday released Numbered Memo 2020-22. This memo directs county boards of elections to accept absentee ballots received in the mail through 5 p.m. November 12, provided that they are postmarked on or before Election Day, November 3. 

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