Common Cause NC applauds Gov. Cooper for vetoing anti-voter bill that unfairly targeted absentee ballots

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RALEIGH – On Thursday, Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed Senate Bill 326. The bill would have eliminated the longstanding window for county boards of elections to receive absentee ballots by mail up to three days after Election Day, even when those lawful ballots are postmarked on or before Election Day.

The following statement is from Bob Phillips, executive director of Common Cause NC:

“We applaud Gov. Cooper for standing up for North Carolina voters and vetoing Senate Bill 326. That wrongheaded bill would have eliminated the longstanding window for county boards of elections to receive absentee ballots by mail up to three days after Election Day, even when those lawful ballots are postmarked on or before Election Day. There is absolutely no evidence that the bill was needed. It would hurt North Carolina voters, especially those in rural communities, who follow the rules but could have their ballot unfairly rejected because of a delay in mail delivery.

It’s worth noting that in 2009, the NC General Assembly voted unanimously in both chambers to establish the three-day grace period for receiving absentee ballots by mail. Among those voting in favor of the three-day window in 2009 were Sen. Phil Berger and now-House Speaker Tim Moore.

A million North Carolina voters chose to cast an absentee ballot by mail in 2020. Last year’s historic election saw record turnout in North Carolina and showed how participation in our democracy can thrive when voting is made accessible for all voters. Rather than creating unnecessary barriers to the ballot box, lawmakers should work in a bipartisan way to support our election system and make casting a ballot accessible for every North Carolina voter. We must protect the freedom of all North Carolina voters to participate in our elections.”


Common Cause NC is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy.

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