State: If you got pre-filled ballot request form, throw it away. It's invalid.

North Carolina law forbids pre-filled forms, but an advocacy group sent them to voters.

Posted Updated
Election Day is Nov. 6, but early voting is underway
Travis Fain
, WRAL statehouse reporter
RALEIGH, N.C. — An advocacy group mailed 80,000 invalid absentee ballot request forms to North Carolinians, the State Board of Elections said Wednesday.

The forms had voters' information already filled in so they could simply mail the form and receive an absentee ballot for the November general election – but North Carolina doesn't allow pre-filled request forms.

Both the state and the group that sent these forms, the Center for Voter Information, said the center showed sample mailings to the State Board before sending out this mass mailing.

The state outlawed pre-filled forms last year in response to the 9th Congressional District ballot-harvesting scandal. The idea was to cut down on the opportunity for groups to request ballots en masse.

The Center for Voter Information has stopped sending the pre-filled forms and said it would mail blank ones instead.

"As millions of Americans self-isolate because of the coronavirus pandemic, mail-based voter registration and vote-by-mail efforts have never been more important," the group said in a statement.

The state said local boards of elections that receive invalid request forms will send voters a letter and a blank request form to return.

Any North Carolina registered voter can request an absentee ballot and vote by mail. Forms are available at county boards of elections and on the state board's website.

The deadline to request a ballot is Oct. 27, but the request period has already begun.

Ballots will be mailed to voters who request them starting in early September. The state expects a massive uptick this year in voting by mail due to the coronavirus pandemic.


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