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Potential changes coming for North Carolina absentee ballots--here's what you need to know

State election officials want to make it easier to change mistakes on absentee ballots. It needs to be approved by a judge.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Election Day is 41 days away and state election officials want to make it easier for absentee voters to fix mistakes on their ballot.

The plan still needs to be approved by a judge but would come with two big changes. If you make a mistake on your ballot, it'll be easier to fix in many cases.

Second, you would have a few more days for your ballot to make it to the elections office as long as it's postmarked by Election Day.

"What we're trying to do is make sure voters have certainty," North Carolina State Board of Elections Chair Damon Circosta said.

The plan comes out of a joint motion filed by the State Board of Elections to settle a lawsuit over the absentee voting process.

"This will lessen the circumstances of people having to have their ballot spoiled and start all again. It isn't a cure all," Circosta said.

He said since absentee ballots went out earlier this month, the most common problems have been missing or misplaced signatures. This would mean you can fix those mistakes rather than filling out a whole new ballot.

"We will send them an affidavit and then the voter must sign under penalty of a felony that the vote, that the ballot they sent us is theirs," Circosta said.

The proposed changes come with nearly one million absentee ballots already requested across the state.

"There are a lot of people who have never voted absentee by mail before," Circosta said, "I was concerned that if we didn't settle these lawsuits now, that a judge might force changes upon us even later in this election season."

The State Board of Elections said the changes can be implemented as soon as they are approved. A judge will release a decision any day now.

If approved, county boards will be able to accept ballots through November 12, as long as they are postmarked by Election Day.

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