by Dr. Andy Jackson
Director of the Civitas Center for Public Integrity, John Locke Foundation
The General Assembly House Election Law and Campaign Finance Reform Committee met yesterday to consider several bills. While the committee approved most of the bills with little discussion, a couple generated a bit of heated conversation before being they ultimately passed them by voice vote.
One of the bills that generated some heated discussion was House Bill 782 (Elections Certainty Act.), The bill would return the functional deadline for election boards to receive absentee ballots to where it was about a decade ago: election day. The current functional deadline is three days after election day if the ballot return envelope is postmarked by election day.
Predictably, the Raleigh News & Observer critiqued the bill through the “Orange Man Bad” school of journalism:
The bill appears based on unfounded conspiracy theories promoted by former President Donald Trump and his supporters who claimed the 2020 election was not legitimate.
After Paul Newby’s razor-thin victory over Cheri Beasley in the NC Supreme Court race for chief justice last November 3, both campaigns lodged complaints with county boards of elections about ballots they believed were inappropriately counted or not counted. Some of those complaints concerned the postmarking of ballots that came in after election day.