GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF NORTH CAROLINA
The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:
Section 1. Article 20 of Chapter 163 of the General Statutes is amended by adding the following new section:
"§ 163-230.1. Simultaneous issuance of absentee ballots with application. – (a) When a qualified voter personally requests by mail an application for absentee ballots, the county board of elections shall cause to be mailed to that voter in a single package:
(1) The appropriate application form under G.S. 163- 227;
(2) The official ballots the voter is entitled to vote if his application is approved;
(3) A container-return envelope for the ballots;
(4) A large envelope (similar to a No. 14 or larger manila envelope) in which the application and container-return envelope with the ballots may be returned; and
(5) An instruction sheet.
The application, ballots, envelopes and instructions shall be mailed to the voter by the county board's chairman, secretary or supervisor as determined by the board and entered in its official minutes.
The application issued under this section shall have clearly printed or stamped on it the following statement: DO NOT PLACE THE APPLICATION IN THE ENVELOPE WITH YOUR BALLOTS - RETURN BOTH THE APPLICATION AND BALLOT ENVELOPE IN THE LARGE TRANSMITTAL ENVELOPE.
(b) The application shall be completed, the ballots marked, the ballots sealed in the container-return envelope, and the container-return envelope affidavit completed as provided in G.S. 163-227 and G.S. 163-231. The application shall not be placed in the container-return envelope. The application and the container-return envelope shall be placed separately in the large transmittal envelope for return to the chairman of the county board of elections.
(c) At its next official meeting after return of the completed application and container-return envelope with the voter's ballots, the county board of elections shall determine whether the application and container-return envelope have been properly executed. If the board determines that both the application and container-return envelope have been properly executed, it shall approve the application and deposit the container-return envelope with other container-return envelopes for the envelope to be opened and the ballots counted at the same time as all other container-return envelopes and absentee ballots.
(d) The provisions of this section shall apply only to requests received by mail from and signed by the voter individually and personally. No near relative, guardian, or other person other than the voter himself shall be permitted to apply for absentee ballots under this section.
(e) The State Board of Elections, by regulation or by instruction to the county board of elections, shall establish procedures to provide appropriate safeguards in the implementation of this section."
Sec. 2. This act shall become effective July 1, 1983.
In the General Assembly read three times and ratified, this the 13th day of May, 1983.