Absentee Ballot Process Secured by N.C. House in Bill Increasing Penalties for Fraud

Raleigh, N.C. – Legislation enhancing penalties for absentee ballot fraud and creating new crimes for selling or receiving payment for returning completed absentee ballot request forms was approved by the North Carolina House of Representatives on Wednesday. 

Senate Bill 683 Combat Absentee Ballot Fraud also adds a Saturday to North Carolina’s early voting schedule, which has nearly doubled the number of hours available for early voters to cast their ballots under Republican leadership in the state General Assembly.  

S.B. 683 requires absentee ballot requests be submitted with a photo identification to comply with the state’s voter ID law or an affidavit asserting a reasonable impediment to obtaining a qualifying ID. 

Voters must include their photo identification or affidavit with the request for an absentee ballot under the bill, which eliminates the option for voters to provide the ID or affidavit with voted ballots.

It further prevents the harvesting of absentee ballot requests by prohibiting the return of those forms by anyone but the voter, their near relative, or legal guardian.

Voters must include their photo identification or affidavit with the request for an absentee ballot under the bill, which eliminates the option for voters to provide the ID or affidavit with voted ballots.

S.B. 683 creates a new Class I felony for selling, purchasing, or attempting to transact in completed absentee ballots or application forms.  It also creates a Class I felony for compensating others based on the number of returned requests for ballots.  

It also increases existing Class 2 misdemeanors for committing absentee ballot fraud to Class 1 misdemeanors and creates a new Class G felony for intentionally failing to deliver or intentionally destroying request forms and absentee ballots. 

Our democracy is only as good as the integrity of our elections,” said House Rules Committee Chairman David Lewis (R-Harnett).  I would like to thank the House Elections Committee Co-Chairs Rep. Holly Grange and Rep. Destin Hall for their help on this proposed legislation.”

“This carefully crafted proposal will provide greater access to voters, close the absentee ballot loopholes, and secure our elections. I look forward to getting this bill across the finish line.”