WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Thursday, Feb. 9, North Carolina Republicans introduced Senate Bill 88, the so-called Election Day Integrity Act, which would require all election officials to only count mail-in ballots that arrive by 7:30 p.m. on Election Day. Under current law, officials count mail-in ballots that are postmarked by Election Day and arrive by 5 p.m. on the third day after Election Day.
North Carolina Republicans previously tried to change the absentee ballot deadline in 2021 via an identically named bill, but Gov. Roy Cooper (D) vetoed the proposal, calling it an “ironically named” bill that would ensure “that some [votes] will go uncounted.” If the bill passes the Republican-controlled Legislature for a second time, Cooper will likely veto it again. However, Republicans could try to override his veto by earning the requisite three-fifths majorities in both chambers. Republicans have sufficient numbers in the state Senate and are just one vote short in the state House, making a veto override of S.B. 88 a possibility.