06:29 GMT21 October 2020
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    As a majority of US states recommend mail-in and absentee voting for the 3 November presidential election due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, election officials alongside the US Postal Service are facing the historic challenge of collating the vote in a critical time, even as major errors and violations are reported.

    An estimated 11,000 voters in North Carolina have received pre-filled voter registration applications in the mail with incorrect personal data, including wrong name, address, or date of birth information, the North Carolina State Board of Elections said in a press release on Tuesday.

    The board called on those who had received applications with incorrect information to discard them and carefully review election-related mail received from third-party groups.

    “With a month before the election, voters are likely to see an increase in election-related mailings,” Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the State Board of Elections, said. “Carefully review these mailings, and please remember that accurate information about the elections process, including how to register to vote, and how to check your voter registration status, are available at NCSBE.gov.”

    The board said that the error occurred during digital processing of the application forms by Print Mail Pro, a Texas-based print and mail company.

    Print Mail Pro was hired by Civitech, a technology vendor that works with companies and campaigns to increase voter registrations. The two firms have already begun to mail corrected forms to those who received those that were incorrect, according to the election board.

    “We would like to express our sincere apology for the error made by our data department on a recent mailing of voter registration applications for Civitech. This error caused incorrect information to be printed on the registration form of some recipients,” Print Mail Pro CEO Shelley Hyde said. “This was an isolated incident that affected roughly .3% of the total processed in North Carolina. We have taken corrective action in retraining our staff and have added checks to prevent this from happening again.”

    Mail-in and absentee voting has been legal in a majority of US states for decades, and has recently been encouraged to lower the risk of in-person voting amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Errors have been reported, as Election Day is less than a month ahead.

    In late September, at least 1,400 registered voters who requested absentee ballots in the US state of Virginia received more than one ballot, according to the Republican Party of Virginia.

    Several days prior to that incident, the US Justice Department said that the FBI was conducting an investigation into nine absentee ballots, seven of them reportedly cast for Trump, that were recovered in garbage near the Pennsylvania city of Scranton. The agency later reported that the incident was the result of an administrative error by a temporary contractor.

    While Democrats encourage mail-in and absentee voting amid the pandemic, Republicans have repeatedly pushed against it, claiming that it would potentially lead to election fraud.

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    North Carolina, registration, ballots, US Election 2020, US
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