Bill Summary for S 326 (2021)

Summary date: 

Jun 9 2021

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2021
Senate Bill 326 (Public) Filed Thursday, March 18, 2021
AN ACT TO AMEND THE DATE BY WHICH MAIL-IN ABSENTEE BALLOTS MUST BE RECEIVED BY THE COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS IN ORDER TO BE COUNTED, TO REQUIRE PUBLISHING OF THE DATE ABSENTEE BALLOTS ARE AVAILABLE AND THE DEADLINE FOR REQUESTING AN ABSENTEE BALLOT, AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE REPORTING OF BALLOTS BY THE COUNTY BOARDS OF ELECTIONS.
Intro. by Daniel, Newton, Hise.

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Bill summary

Senate committee substitute to the 1st edition makes the following changes.

Deletes the proposed changes to GS 163-22 and GS 163-33 that specified that the State Board of Elections (State Board) or county boards of elections (county boards) do not have the authority to accept private monetary donations for the purpose of administering elections or employing individuals on a temporary basis.

Deletes the changes to the deadline for county boards to receive a completed request form for an absentee ballot application and absentee ballots under GS 163-230.1. 

Deletes the appropriation of $5 million to the State Board for 2021-22 for the establishment of a program to identify individuals in the State who need a photo ID to vote in person. 

Further amends GS 163-231(b)(2) to require absentee ballots to be accepted after the stated deadline if the ballots are received in accordance with Article 21A of GS Chapter 163, Uniform Military and Overseas Voters Act (was, if the ballots issued under Article 21A are received by the county board no later than the end of business on the business day before the canvass conducted by the county board). Makes conforming changes to the statutory cross references to this provision in GS GS 163-234, and GS 163-89.

Further amends GS 163-232.1 by making a technical change and by making language gender neutral.

Further amends GS 163-234 by requiring that only absentee ballots returned to the county board by 5:00 pm on the day before election day in a property executed container-return envelope or absentee ballots received pursuant to GS 163-231(b)(2) must be counted (removes the specification that this requirement is except to the extent federal law requires otherwise). Requires the county board to also comply with GS 163-230.1 (simultaneous issuance of absentee ballots with application) in counting absentee ballots received pursuant to GS 163-231(b)(2). Makes language gender neutral.

Further amends GS 163-89 to specify that an absentee ballot received by the county board under GS 163-231(b)(1) (those received by the county board no later than 5:00 pm on the day of the statewide primary or general election or county bond election) may be challenged on the day of any statewide primary or general election or county bond election beginning no earlier than noon and ending no later an 5:00 pm, or by the chief judge at the time of closing of the polls (was, applicable to the absentee ballot of any voter).

Adds the following content. 

Amends GS 163-227.10 by adding the requirement that each county board and the State Board publish on its website and on materials sent to voters the date by which absentee ballots are available for voting.

Amends GS 163-230.1 by adding that each county board and the State Board must publish on its website and on materials sent to voters the date by which a completed request form for an absentee application and absentee ballots must be received. 

Enacts new GS 163-232.2 setting out the following reporting requirements. Requires each county board to report the following to the State Board during each day of the one-stop early voting period: (1) the number of absentee ballots that have been spoiled due to the voter voting in person at a one-stop voting site; and (2) the number of outstanding absentee ballots. Requires each county board of elections to report, from the day after the day of the election through the day after the receipt deadline for absentee ballots, to the State Board by 5:00 pm each day: (1) the number of absentee ballots that have been counted; (2) the number of outstanding absentee ballots; and (3) the number of voted provisional ballots. Requires the State Board to publish each report on its website daily. 

Makes organization changes to the act.

Amends the act's titles. 

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