North Carolina absentee ballot changes get initial Senate OK

North Carolina absentee ballot changes get initial Senate OK

RALEIGH, N.C. — New procedures for requesting and returning mail-in absentee ballots in North Carolina would change in legislation that's received initial state Senate approval. But some lawmakers want more alterations.

The Senate voted unanimously Monday for a measure generated in response to an investigation into last fall's 9th Congressional District race. It led state election officials to order a new election this year.

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The bill would eliminate a statewide absentee ballot request form and create new crimes or increase penalties for illegal ballot collection activities. Separately, the measure would restore early in-person voting on the final Saturday before the primary or election day.

Several floor amendments are scheduled to be considered on Tuesday before a final vote. One would restore a statewide request form, with new features designed to ensure ballot security.

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