AN ACT TO AMEND THE LAWS GOVERNING MAIL-IN ABSENTEE BALLOTS; TO RESTORE THE LAST SATURDAY OF EARLY ONE-STOP VOTING; TO EXTEND THE TIME BY WHICH COUNTY BOARDS OF ELECTIONS NEED TO REPLACE DIRECT RECORD ELECTRONIC VOTING EQUIPMENT UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS; TO AUTHORIZE A COUNTY TO TEST NEW VOTING EQUIPMENT DURING A SIMULATED ELECTION; AND TO MAKE APPROPRIATIONS FOR CURRENT OPERATIONS OF THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS, CONSISTENT WITH HOUSE BILL 966 OF THE 2019 REGULAR SESSION.
House amendments to the 5th edition make the following changes.
Amendment #1 further modifies GS 163A-1310 to qualify the option to transmit executed absentee ballots to county boards of elections by mail or commercial courier, stating this option is at the expense of the voter or the State Board of Elections (State Board; previously, eliminated existing language which deemed this option to be at the voter's expense).
Amendment #2 adds new subsection (e1) to GS 163A-1309 to allow voters who need assistance to complete the written request form for absentee ballots and do not have a near relative or legal guardian available to request another person to give assistance. Limits the scope of this new provision to voters needing assistance due to blindness, disability, or inability to read or write. Requires the name and address of the person giving assistance in completing the written request form to be disclosed on the form in addition to all of the information required on the form pursuant to GS 163A-1309, as amended.
Amendment #4 amends GS 163A-1117, regarding actions county boards of elections must take before approving the adoption and acquisition of any voting system by the board of county commissioners. Current law requires the county board to test the voting system during an election in at least one of the county's precincts. Adds an alternative to this testing requirement, now allowing a county to test the voting system during a simulated election pursuant to standards established by the State Board. Applies to the purchase of any voting system tested prior to December 31, 2020. Changes the act's long title.