The state House of Representatives on Thursday approved bipartisan elections funding and reforms to meet the challenges of COVID-19. Central to this bill was a total prohibition on “all-mail” elections in North Carolina.
“Maintaining the security of our elections system must be a constant priority.” Representative Hall said. “During uncertain times, we cannot allow the system to be exploited. We must safeguard our elections from those who would undermine their integrity.”
House Bill 1169 does not ban the use of absentee ballots, allowing those who feel the need to use them to have that option available. However, it creates a framework to securely request absentee ballots for those who need to do so. The bill provides funding for local elections boards and adjusts current law to address potential impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
H.B. 1169 maintains the ban on the mass gathering or “harvesting” of absentee ballot request forms by groups or individuals, and does not expand strict rules on who is legally authorized to return ballots.
Other reforms in the proposed legislation include:
- Temporarily allowing absentee ballot requests to be submitted by email, fax, or a new online portal for 2020 only.
- Providing CARES Act and HAVA matching and federal funds for counties for use for supporting in-person voting and increased absentee ballot costs.
- Providing temporary flexibility for recruiting precinct officials.
“The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.”
Proverbs 11:3 ESV