Attorney General, state elections board: Don’t vote twice

Moss Brennan, Reporter

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein and the North Carolina State Board of Elections want to make one thing clear: voting twice is illegal in North Carolina.

Stein and the state board are countering President Donald Trump’s multiple suggestions that voters should go to the polls to check if their cote was counted and vote twice if they vote by mail in North Carolina.

“Attempting to vote twice in an election or soliciting someone to do so also is a violation of North Carolina law,” said Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the state board of elections in a press release. 

Many states are leaning on absentee voting to keep people away from the polls because of COVID-19 risks. In North Carolina, nearly 760,000 people have requested absentee ballots already. 

Trump’s first claim to North Carolina voters came at a campaign rally in Wilmington Sept. 2, when he said “And you send (absentee ballots) in, but you go to vote. And if they haven’t counted it, you can vote.” 

On Saturday, Trump further claimed voters should send in their absentee ballots early and then go to their polling place to see if it was counted or not. 

The tweet, which was censored by Twitter because it violated its civic and election integrity rules, prompted a lengthy response from Stein. 

In a Twitter thread, Stein warned voters instead to send in their ballot early and track it online. 

“Do not vote twice (it’s a felony), or waste your time, or unnecessarily risk exposure to more people,” Stein tweeted. 

North Carolina just launched a new ballot tracking system for voters to track their ballot from when they mail it to when it is approved by a county board of elections. 

Matt Snyder, Watauga County director of elections, said the usual course of action is that unless the total number of voters in questions is greater than the margin of victory, the race is finalized.

“If there are more votes in question than the margin of victory, the state may require the election to be held again,” Snyder said. 

According to the state board of elections, voters who have voted absentee are removed from the pollbook before voting starts. Absentee ballots that are received on Election Day are not counted until after the election to prevent double voting.