Early voting on tougher rules begins in North Carolina

In North Carolina, early in-person voting kicked off on Thursday, and it is in this key state that President Donald Trump and Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris have scheduled campaign events for that day.

Trump will perform in Greenville, and Harris was supposed to visit Charlotte and Asheville, however, due to the detection of coronavirus patients in her environment, the senator canceled all scheduled trips for the coming days.

Due to the pandemic, there is an increased interest in early and absentee voting in many states. According to the United States Election Project, more than 16 million people had already voted by Wednesday evening, including 500,000 in North Carolina. This is about 10 percent of the turnout recorded in this state in the 2016 elections.

Now that polling stations can be cast in North Carolina, the rate is likely to rise: in other states, with early voting, voters came to vote in record numbers.

Previously accepted in-state ballots were mailed. Mail-order voting rules vary from state to state, and in North Carolina, a court changed them on Wednesday so that every absentee ballot must now be certified by a voter’s identity witness. The court ruled that from now on voters who have not certified their ballot will not be able to rectify the situation retroactively – for example, by sending a written statement about it.

The state issued a directive authorizing such amendments, but Republicans have challenged the legality of such a system, arguing that it infringes on the power of state legislators to determine election rules and discriminates against people who followed the original rules.

At the same time, the court order allows for minor corrections – for example, if the signature of a witness is put in the wrong place.

According to the state electoral commission, by Wednesday, in addition to accepted 500 thousand ballots, polling station employees also received about 12 thousand ballots with various defects.

In 2016, Trump won the state with 49.8 percent of the vote against Hillary Clinton’s 46.2 percent. Two polls released this week show that North Carolina is also in a fierce battle this time around.

According to a New York Times / Siena poll, Democrat Joe Biden is now supported by 46 percent of voters, and President Donald Trump is now supported by 42 percent, with a margin of error of 4.5 percent. According to Reuters / Ipsos polls, Biden has 48 percent, Trump has 47 percent, with a margin of error of 4 percent.

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