UPDATE: Senators press NC elections chief for answers on ballot deal

Absentee ballot
Absentee ballot(wabi)
Published: Mar. 23, 2021 at 1:48 PM EDT
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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina Republican senators peppered the state’s top elections administrator with questions about a legal settlement that altered rules for the fall election.

GOP members of a committee accused State Board of Elections Executive Director Karen Brinson Bell on Tuesday of carrying out unlawful balloting changes and reducing voter confidence.

Brinson Bell defended her actions and those of the board as building trust in the system by ensuring more mail-in ballots would be counted after worries about postage delays during the pandemic.

One big change allowed county election boards to wait six days longer for ballots postmarked by Election Day.

North Carolina Republican lawmakers are still unhappy with a legal settlement that the State Board of Elections reached with a union-affiliated group over absentee ballots during last fall’s campaign. And they want to hear from the board’s director again.

The Senate Redistricting and Elections Committee said it expects Karen Brinson Bell to come before the panel on Tuesday and take questions. A House elections committee already questioned Bell last month about the settlement.

The Democratic-controlled board accepted a legal agreement in September that was challenged in court by Republicans.

The U.S. Supreme Court ultimately declined to block the new, extended ballot deadline.

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