Black voters in North Carolina have disproportionately flagged mail votes for possible battlefield denials and warned of disfranchisement.
In North Carolina, mail ballots need to obtain ballot witnesses, and data collected by Professor Michael Bitzer of Catawba College, who closely tracks votes, shows that at least 7,000 ballots across the state. It is flagged. State data. As of Wednesday, 40% (2,871) of the rejected votes came from black voters, even though only 16% of all returned votes were included. (A spokesman for the State Election Commission said some data was out of date because the local elections office did not enter denial data into the state-wide system while the legal challenge was pending. I warned that it might be.)
Rev. Anthony Spearman, head of the North Carolina branch of the NAACP, voted for black voters based on the fact that African Americans traditionally did not vote widely by mail in the state, but instead voted. He said that the rate of being voted was high. -People’s vote. He said many voters are stumbling upon the state’s requirement that mail voters get witnesses to sign absentee ballots.
“Many African-American communities are using absentee ballots for the first time and are not trained on that practice. There are levels that are unaware of the process and its progress, and the form I didn’t fill it out correctly, “he said.
According to data collected by Bitzer, only 3% of black voters who were flagged as rejected on ballots voted by mail in 2016.
“Voting by mail is very different from voting directly,” Bitzer said. “Unfamiliarity with the voting process until presented elsewhere probably hangs many of these votes.”
North Carolina data highlights the challenges facing this year as Democrats encourage supporters to vote by mail in concerns about Covid-19. Voting by mail is more likely to be rejected than direct voting, and surveys show that all first-time voters and minorities are much more likely to be rejected.
In the state, court battles continue over how easy it is for voters to fix ballots that have been flagged as rejected. Earlier this year, state officials said voters could sign an affidavit and count votes if there was an omission in the witness portion of the ballot (the section where Spearman said he confused voters). I did.
However, state officials immediately suspended its guidance in opposition from the Republicans and in ongoing proceedings. On Wednesday, a federal judge ruled that voters could use the affidavit to correct minor inconsistencies with the Witness section, but if the witnesses forgot to sign it completely, voters would have to vote anew. He said he had to. Republicans have appealed the ruling.
There also seems to be some contradiction in that the election manager needs to consider voting to decide whether to reject the vote. Earlier this month, state officials released a note instructing the Local Election Commission that voting should not be automatically rejected if the witness’s address is incomplete.
Guilford County, home of Greensboro, flagged one-tenth of the ballots rejected before the memo. County voter Madeline Reed told Greensboro News and Records that the vote was flagged as rejected because authorities were unable to read the letter “C” in the witness’s signature. It was. According to data collected by Michael McDonald, a professor of political science at the University of Florida, the rejection rate in the county has since dropped to 2.2%.
“Our staff are very effective and very well trained and tend to scrutinize the ballots they see more closely, which may have to do with a higher number in Guilford County. Maybe, “said Spearman, who is also a member of the county’s election commission.
Early voting began on Thursday in North Carolina, and Spearman said people who were flagged for refusal on ballots would be encouraged to forget the new mail ballot and vote directly instead. “I think people will be willing to do that,” he said.