An April 1st administrative decision by North Carolina State Board of Elections staff to reject absentee ballot requests that are signed electronically violates the letter of the law, according to the Voting Rights Taskforce, a grassroots Watauga County group that formed to counteract voter suppression efforts by both the local and the state Boards of Elections.
(The State Board of Elections staff ruled that absentee ballot requests with electronic signatures made by Watauga County voters prior to their April 1 ruling will be accepted.)
"First, the local and State Board of Elections does everything it can to discourage the voting of Appalachian State University students, staff and faculty, and then they move precincts to remote locations and grant only one Early Voting site to over 60% of the voting population in the county," said Pam Williamson, a Voting Rights Task Force spokesperson. "The state legislature made it easier to request an absentee ballot, and members of the State Board of Elections encouraged us to use it. We did. But once the Watauga County Task Force for Voter Rights decided to actually use the state's new absentee ballot request laws to encourage voter participation, the staff at the State Board of Elections quickly put a stop to it.”