By Charlotte Smith
On October 7, 2020, Bladen County Board of Election’s Director, Chris Williams, confirmed to the local
board of elections there were around 20 ballots delivered by the United States Post Office without being post marked.
Mr. Williams, explained on Monday the importance of the post mark on the ballots. “We will accept
absentee ballots until November 6th if they are post marked by November 3rd or before. If we receive one post marked November 4th, that one will not be counted because it does not meet the 5 o’ clock deadline in November 3rd for the absentee ballots to be in.”
The board members noticed when going over the absentee ballots the delivered absentee ballots that
came in through the mail without a post mark seemed to be from Elizabethtown.
He said, “Some didn’t even have a stamp on it.”
Mr. Williams spoke with Mr. Carl Whitt, Post Master at Elizabethtown Post Office last week about the
issue of postal delivered ballots not being post marked.
Bladen Online reached out to the Elizabethtown Post Office, but they were closed in observance of the
Columbus Day holiday.
Mr. Williams explained his conversation with the Elizabethtown Post Master. Mr. Whitt said the ballots
were supposed to go to Charlotte to be processed and all were to be stamped but to save some time on
getting the ballots to the board of elections, the postal service forwarded the ballots to the board of
elections to save time.
Mr. Whitt with the post office assured Mr. Williams with the board of elections that he would be checking the mail in ballots for post marks and would advise the post office staff to do the same especially when it gets closer to November 3rd.
The brass tacks of the matter is the post marks on mail in absentee ballots will be critical between
election day and the day they stop allowing absentee ballots to be counted.
Chairperson of the Bladen County Board of Elections, Ms. Louella Thompson replied to Mr. Williams in an
email. She thanked the Board of Elections staff for “following the letter of the law”. She added in her statement, “Hopefully, we will see more post marked ballots in the weeks to come. Let's stay on top of it please!”
View the United States Post Office manual on election ballots in the link below.