The North Carolina State Board of Elections should know exactly how many absentee ballots were mailed by the Nov. 3 deadline and where they are in the system right now.

The North Carolina legislature is demanding that the State Board of Elections (SBE) release that information to the public.

A letter signed by the five co-chairs of both the NC state House and NC state Senate Elections Committees on Friday, Nov. 6 was sent to Executive Director of the State Board of Elections Karen Brinson Bell, demanding that information be released to the public.

When the push was on for people to vote by absentee ballot, one of the selling points was that the state was using BallotTrax, which allows voters to follow their ballot request and ballot through the postal system from the time the request is mailed to when the ballot is counted.

The SBE argued in court that ballots should not have to be postmarked by Nov. 3 because BallotTrax allowed the county boards of elections to determine when a ballot was mailed whether it was postmarked or not.

The letter states, “Thus, your agency should know exactly how many ballots were deposited by voters with the U.S. Postal Service by Nov. 3, 2020 but have not been received by the County Board of Elections. Even if you are concerned that the U.S. Postal Service may have failed to scan certain ballots, you may not withhold the information that you do have regarding the number of ballots in the system. Disclosure of this data should enable media outlets to call the presidential and U.S. Senate races, among others, almost immediately.”

The letter also states that the committees “hereby demand the immediate disclosure and public release of the total number of currently outstanding absentee ballots in the possession of the U.S. Postal Service and entered into the BallotTrax system. We further demand the release of any internal projections, analysis, or preliminary information in possession of the Board regarding the total number and identity of those ballots.”

The letter also states that the information must be released by 4 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 6 and states, “Failure to do so will result in our committees exercising their full statutory and constitutional oversight authority.”