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North Carolina GOP working on bill to count fewer mail-in ballots

The "Election Day Integrity Act" would stop the counting of any absentee ballots that arrive after Election Day, regardless of when they're postmarked.

RALEIGH, N.C. — Republican officials in the North Carolina General Assembly are trying to push a new bill that would limit how many mail-in ballots get counted during an election. 

Senate Bill 326, known as the Election Day Integrity Act, is trying to stop the counting of absentee ballots that arrive after Election Day. It's already moved through the House rules committee. A report from the Associated Press said the bill is unlikely to become law, as it would lack the support from Gov. Roy Cooper and enough Democrats to override a veto. 

Republicans say the extra time for ballot counting in 2020 undermined voters' confidence in the electoral process and election results. Sen. Warren Daniel, a Burke County Republican who sponsored the bill, said the extra time unnecessarily lengthened the counting process. 

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“Everybody knows when Election Day is. It’s when the votes are all in, and vote counting begins," Daniel said. "Every day that passes after that creates the possibility of distrust in the process. Ideally, we’d like to have a winner on Election Night."

Current state law allows for ballot envelopes postmarked by Election Day to count if received within three days of the election. In 2020, North Carolina relaxed that guideline to nine days due to the pandemic and post office delays.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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