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Trump is suing to challenge North Carolina election rule changes

Suit focuses on requirement that a ballot can only be accepted with witness, but state election officials have bypassed that with new rules.

Updated: September 28, 2020 - 4:24pm

President Trump’s campaign is suing in federal court to stop North Carolina election rule changes that has raised ballot integrity issues in the key battleground state.

“While touted as allowing greater access to voters during the current pandemic — an objective already addressed in recent months by the General Assembly — the actual effect is to undermine protections that help ensure the upcoming election will be not only safe and accessible but secure, fair, and credible,” the lawsuit filed Saturday by the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee alleged.

The State Elections Board  issued new rules last Tuesday allowing mail-in absentee ballots with deficient information to be fixed without forcing the voter to fill out a new blank ballot for November’s election. Trump and the RNC claims the changes violate state law.

The change means absentee voters who don’t provide complete information on their envelope about a witness who saw them fill out the ballot won’t have to complete a new ballot and locate another witness. A voter will just have to turn in an affidavit confirming they filled out the original ballot, The Associated Press said.

North Carolina is one of eight states with witness and or notary public requirements for absentee ballots, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. 

The lawsuit claims the state elections board made a partisan “backroom deal” that undermines a state law that requires ballot be accepted if it has a witness signature on it.

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