By Associated Press - Tuesday, August 27, 2019

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Stricter rules for requesting mail-in absentee ballots in North Carolina and more severe crimes for people who collect them have received tentative approval in the state House.

The bill voted for by a near-unanimous chamber on Tuesday also would reinstate permanently the extension of early in-person voting until the last Saturday before each election.

The measure largely addresses problems that surfaced during a 2018 congressional race involving “harvesting” of absentee ballots by political operatives. State election officials ordered a new 9th Congressional District election.

The bill also allows counties currently with touch-screen election machines to use them through the 2020 elections if the state board agrees they aren’t a security risk. A floor amendment that would have barred their use next year failed by a 58-59 vote.

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