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Board sets 45-day mark for sending out absentee ballots

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(The Center Square) – Distribution of absentee ballots for the Super Tuesday primary in North Carolina will begin 45 days before March 5.

The state Board of Elections, in its Tuesday meeting, was unanimous in approval. This is a change from 50 days, prompted in part both by the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday Jan. 15 impacting mailing, and candidate filing – which opens Monday at noon – ending Dec. 15.

The board, going with the Jan. 19 date rather than Jan. 12, has more time to ensure ballots are generated, proofed, printed and delivered, a release says.

Per state law, county boards are to mail out absentee ballots 50 days before an election day. The state board has discrection to alter as needed, such as the case with a holiday.

Absentee ballots do not require a reason to be obtained. Thus, any voter wishing to cast a ballot in the primary has a 45-day window.

The board’s main action was anti-climatic. The municipal elections canvass from earlier in the month was unanimous approved. There were 465 municipalities in 86 counties conducting elections. Turnout was about 15.9% of the 3.25 million registered to vote in them.

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