The election complaints filed by Republicans with help from Gov. Pat McCrory’s campaign fall into several categories: Allegations of dead people voting, felons voting, people voting in multiple states and absentee ballot issues.
The State Board of Elections has been asked to decide on dozens of complaints filed across more than 50 counties – all seeking to have certain ballots thrown out.
Here’s what state law says about who’s eligible to vote in these situations:
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If I vote early but die before Election Day, does my vote still count? No – your eligibility to vote is based on whether you meet qualifications on Election Day. That’s why the Wake County Board of Elections threw out two votes on Friday because the voters had mailed in absentee ballots before they died.
N.C. House Republicans, led by then-Speaker Thom Tillis, sought to change this in 2014 with a bill that would have required the state to count votes from people who died after mailing in an absentee ballot or participating in early voting.
The bill passed the House unanimously but never got a vote in the Senate. It was named for Everette Harris, the father of 2014 U.S. Senate candidate Mark Harris, whose absentee ballot was thrown out because he died before Election Day.
Can convicted felons vote in North Carolina? Yes, but only if they’ve completed their sentence and are no longer on probation or parole.
If you’re currently in jail, on probation, or on parole for a felony conviction, you can’t vote. Felons who have completed their sentence do not have to petition to have their voting rights restored.
Election complaints in a number of counties make claims about convicted felons voting. That resulted in one ballot being thrown out on Friday in Wake County, but Halifax County’s elections board rejected a complaint because it did not include any evidence to prove the person is a felon serving an active sentence.
Are you allowed to fill out someone’s absentee ballot on their behalf? Only under certain circumstances.
The law requires that someone who’s unable to fill out a ballot on their own enlist the help of a “near relative” or legal guardian when possible. If that’s not possible, the voter is supposed to call their county board of elections, which can send out a trained “multipartisan team” to help the voter complete their ballot. And if the “multipartisan team” isn’t available, then the voter can get help from someone else – as long as that person isn’t an elected official, candidate for office, political party official, or an employee of a hospital or nursing home where the voter is a patient or resident.
That means it’s legal for a community group to help absentee voters fill out their ballots – but the person assisting must sign a disclosure box on the ballot form. An election complaint filed in Bladen County says a group there failed to sign the disclosure.
Can you vote in multiple states? No, that’s a felony – don’t try that.