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Trump Asks Supreme Court to Block North Carolina Mail-In Ballot Extension

Poll workers prepare absentee ballots for shipment at the Wake County Board of Elections in Raleigh, N.C., September 4, 2020. (Jonathan Drake/Reuters)

President Trump’s campaign on Sunday again requested that the U.S. Supreme Court block a North Carolina policy to count absentee ballots that arrive after Election Day.

The campaign first filed the application on Thursday following a 12-3 decision by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday that upheld the state’s policy. 

The North Carolina State Board of Elections plans to count ballots postmarked by November 3 that arrive before November 12.

The Trump campaign, the North Carolina Republican Party and others sued over the state’s plan to extend the deadline, claiming it was in violation of the state’s election code. 

“An emergency injunction is urgently needed to ensure that our federal election is governed by the statutes enacted by the people’s duly elected representatives, and not by the whims of an unelected state agency,” the campaign said in Sunday’s filing.

The North Carolina battle unfolds as one of many nationwide between Republicans and Democrats over mail-in ballots. While Democrats have supported increasing access to mail-in voting as a way to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, Republicans have worried that voting by mail could lead to widespread voter fraud.

Some counties in North Carolina where 10,000 voters had received absentee ballots with an error on the return envelope had been unable to count those votes for three weeks until court rulings last week that gave county board of elections the power to either accept the ballots, request that voters sign a letter of certification as a “cure” for the error or tell voters that they will have to cast a new ballot.

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