Court lets North Carolina keep absentee deadline extension

Court lets North Carolina keep absentee deadline extension
FILE - In this Sept. 3, 2020, file photo, stacks of ballot envelopes waiting to be mailed are seen at the Wake County Board of Elections in Raleigh, N.C. Black voters are among the least likely to vote by mail nationally, but there are early signs they are changing their behavior as the shadow of the coronavirus hangs over the presidential race. The evidence is clearest in North Carolina, the first state in the nation to send out mail ballots and where voting has been underway for almost three weeks. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File) (Source: Gerry Broome)

(AP) - A federal appeals court has ruled that North Carolina can accept absentee ballots for more than a week after Election Day as long as they are postmarked by Nov. 3.

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling Tuesday night declining to block the deadline extension that was announced in late September.

At the time, the State Board of Elections increased the deadline from three days to nine, as long as ballots were postmarked by Election Day.

The change was part of a settlement with voting rights advocates. State and national Republican leaders went to court to fight the deadline extension.

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