Uh Oh: 18 States, DC Accept Ballots After Election Day, Some Up To 14 Days Later

North Dakota is facing a legal challenge over its practice of accepting mail-in ballots up to 13 days after Election Day, joining a group of 18 states and Washington, D.C., that allow for the post-election tabulation of such ballots.

The lawsuit, filed against North Dakota State Election Director Erika White on Wednesday, argues that the state’s law permitting the acceptance of ballots beyond Election Day violates federal regulations.

To qualify for acceptance via mail, absentee ballots in North Dakota must be postmarked the day prior to Election Day and received before the county’s canvassing board convenes, which occurs on the 13th day following the election. The state’s legislation was modified in 2021, expanding the previous six-day deadline to the current 13-day period for accepting ballots after the election.

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