Common Cause NC applauds U.S. Supreme Court decision letting stand extension for absentee ballots to be received in North Carolina

RALEIGH – The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday let stand an extended period by which mailed absentee ballots can be counted in North Carolina.

The State Board of Elections had approved an extension by which mailed absentee ballots postmarked on or before the Nov. 3 Election Day deadline can be received by county boards of elections. The extension allows ballots postmarked on or before Nov. 3 to be received through Nov. 12. In separate cases before it on Wednesday and Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed that extension to remain in place for this year’s election.

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

“Today’s news from the U.S. Supreme Court is a victory for voters in our state. With a record increase in North Carolinians choosing to vote absentee by mail amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the common-sense decision by the State Board of Elections will help ensure that ballots postmarked on or before the Nov. 3 deadline are given sufficient time to arrive at county boards of elections and be properly counted.

“The extension does not change the deadline by which voters must mail back their absentee ballot – that remains Nov. 3. It simply helps make sure that voters who follow the rules and meet the Nov. 3 deadline won’t have their vote discarded due to a possible delay in mail delivery. That’s just fair.”

Common Cause NC is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. Information on this year’s election in North Carolina can be found at

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