“A legal fight over how to fix ballot errors in North Carolina has left thousands of voters in limbo. Nearly half are people of color.”


A dispute over how North Carolina voters should correct problems with their mail ballots remains unresolved roughly three weeks before Election Day, leaving at least 6,800 votes — including more than 3,300 ballots from people of color — in limbo across a key presidential battleground state.

The legal fight intensified after the state Board of Elections said last month it would allow voters to “cure,” or fix, deficiencies in their mail ballots by completing and returning an affidavit to county election officials. The affidavit would neutralize a range of voter errors that could lead to ballots being tossed, including failure to provide a witness signature.

But a federal judge put the plan on hold Oct. 3, arguing it changed the rules too close to Election Day. And a second federal judge expressed concern that the affidavits would allow voters to essentially dodge the state’s witness requirement — the primary method used in North Carolina to prove mail ballots are authentic.

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