Confusion with a set of absentee ballots in a North Carolina county caused some voters to receive two identical ballots ahead of November’s general election, local election officials told the Associated Press on Wednesday.
Mecklenburg County election officials said that ballots for some voters in Matthews, N.C., were improperly labeled with the incorrect names and were shredded before being sent. According to the Associated Press, some voters eventually received two ballots when officials printed new ones to address the initial mistake.
Michael Dickerson, the director of elections for Mecklenburg County, told reporters that fewer than 500 voters were impacted by the mixup, adding that it is unlikely that voters could have cast two ballots, as each mailing label contains an individual code that cannot be recorded twice.
North Carolina State Board of Elections Executive Director Karen Brinson Bell earlier this month issued a press release reminding people that it is a felony to vote twice in a federal election.
Bell explained in the statement that “N.C.G.S. § 163-275(7) makes it a Class I felony for a voter, ‘with intent to commit a fraud to register or vote at more than one precinct or more than one time…in the same primary or election.’ Attempting to vote twice in an election or soliciting someone to do so also is a violation of North Carolina law.”
The press release came a day after President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he doesn’t think he could’ve done more to stop virus spread Conservative activist Lauren Witzke wins GOP Senate primary in Delaware Trump defends claim coronavirus will disappear, citing ‘herd mentality’ MORE suggested at a press briefing that his supporters in North Carolina should attempt to vote both by mail and in person. Trump claimed that this would test the integrity of the vote-by-mail system, which the president has repeatedly claimed without evidence will lead to widespread voter fraud.
When asked by reporters whether he trusted North Carolina’s mail-in balloting system, the president responded, “Let them send it in, and let them go vote, and if their system’s as good as they say it is, then obviously they won’t be able to vote. If it isn’t tabulated, they’ll be able to vote.”
“So that’s the way it is. And that’s what they should do,” he added.