§ 163-231. Voting absentee ballots and transmitting them to the county board of elections.
(a) Procedure for Voting Absentee Ballots. - In the presence of a person who is at least 18 years of age, and who is not disqualified by G.S. 163-226.3(a)(4) or G.S. 163-237(b1), the voter shall:
(1) Mark the voter's ballots, or cause them to be marked by that person in the voter's presence according to the voter's instruction;
(2) Fold each ballot separately, or cause each of them to be folded in the voter's presence;
(3) Place the folded ballots in the container-return envelope and securely seal it, or have this done in the voter's presence;
(4) Make the application printed on the container-return envelope according to the provisions of G.S. 163-229(b) and make the certificate printed on the container-return envelope according to the provisions of G.S. 163-229(b).
The person in whose presence the ballot is marked shall at all times respect the secrecy of the ballot and the privacy of the absentee voter, unless the voter requests the person's assistance and the person is otherwise authorized by law to give assistance. The person in whose presence the ballot was marked shall sign the application and certificate as a witness and shall indicate that person's address. When thus executed, the sealed container-return envelope, with the ballots enclosed, shall be transmitted in accordance with the provisions of subsection (b) of this section to the county board of elections which issued the ballots.
(a1) Repealed by Session Laws 1987, c. 583, s. 1.
(b) Transmitting Executed Absentee Ballots to County Board of Elections. - The sealed container-return envelope in which executed absentee ballots have been placed shall be transmitted to the county board of elections who issued them as follows: All ballots issued under the provisions of Articles 20 and 21A of this Chapter shall be transmitted by mail or by commercial courier service, at the voter's expense, or delivered in person, or by the voter's near relative or verifiable legal guardian not later than 5:00 p.m. on the day before the statewide primary or general election or county bond election. Ballots issued under the provisions of Article 21A of this Chapter may also be electronically transmitted. If ballots are received later than that hour, they shall not be accepted unless (i) federal law so requires, (ii) if ballots issued under Article 20 of this Chapter are postmarked by the day of the statewide primary or general election or county bond election and are received by the county board of elections not later than three days after the election by 5:00 p.m., or (iii) if ballots issued under Article 21A of this Chapter are received by the county board of elections not later than the end of business on the business day before the canvass conducted by the county board of elections held pursuant to G.S. 163-182.5. Ballots issued under Article 20 of this Chapter not postmarked by the day of the election shall not be accepted by the county board of elections. (1939, c. 159, ss. 2, 5; 1941, c. 248; 1943, c. 736; c. 751, s. 1; 1945, c. 758, s. 5; 1963, c. 457, ss. 2, 5; 1967, c. 775, s. 1; 1971, c. 1247, s. 3; 1973, c. 536, s. 1; 1977, c. 469, s. 1; 1979, c. 799, s. 5; 1985, c. 562, ss. 1, 2; 1987, c. 583, ss. 1, 2; 1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 991, s. 4; 1999-455, s. 11; 2009-537, ss. 6, 8(a); 2011-182, s. 5.)