The following is a statement from Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the North Carolina State Board of Elections:
North Carolina’s statewide election management system will not allow a voter to vote twice in an election.
Recently, the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections sent two ballots to fewer than 500 absentee voters. This occurred after an election worker misplaced labels on absentee return envelopes. Some ballots with misplaced labels had already made it to the mail stream before the issue was detected.
To ensure all affected voters received a ballot that could be successfully returned, a new ballot was mailed to them.
Each absentee voter has a unique identifier barcode for their return application, and the state system will not permit two ballots from the same person to be accepted or counted. Once one ballot is returned and accepted, the voter’s record reflects that he or she has already voted. Therefore, if that voter returned another ballot, it would not count.
In the first two weeks of absentee voting in North Carolina, county boards of elections across North Carolina have mailed out about 817,000 ballots, and 88,000 North Carolinians’ ballots have been returned and accepted. Mecklenburg County has sent out about 115,000 ballots.
We are proud of the work our county boards of elections are doing under extremely difficult circumstances and with an exponential increase in by-mail voting.
We want to assure voters that the system is set up to ensure the election will not be affected and no one will be able to vote twice as a result of this incident.