The judge in the case that led to the settlement and the electoral board, District Judge William L. Osteen Jr., a George W. Bush-appointed judge, has criticized the affidavit, stating that it complied with the witness request he was calling Basically doing away with is "a reasonable measure to prevent fraud" and could throw it. The Trump campaign has emailed the local elections to ignore the deal. North Carolina officials have asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th circuit's decision.
In the meantime, people are voting in the balance and the election is only three weeks away. "Nothing happens – nothing. So it's definitely about that," Marian Lewin, vice president of the North Carolina League of Women Voters, told the Washington Post. "I'm upset because voters don't know where they stand. […] A week of inactivity is scary, but two weeks. […] Welcome to North Carolina." This has resulted in thousands of ballots getting stuck in what is known as the "pending cure", 2,776 from black voters, 2,490 from white non-Hispanic voters. That's well over half of the ballot papers, with blacks making up just 22% of the state's population.
"We are finding that color voters – especially black Africans – actually have a higher percentage of their ballots to cure," said J. Michael Bitzer, professor of politics and history at Catawba College in Salisbury, North Carolina, who followed the data. He says part of the problem is that North Carolina black voters can re-vote by mail – only 3% were sent out on ballot papers in 2016. According to his analysis, about 4% of all ballots sent by Schwarz are still pending, as opposed to 1% for white voters. Of particular note is one county – Guilford, where 20.3% of rejected "pending cure" ballots are from black voters.
The ballot papers have been pending for a week now. "You never want to get into a situation where people are already voting or have the potential to cast ballots and aren't sure what will happen to their ballot when they return it," Bitzer told the in a separate interview local broadcaster WBTV, but right there Voters in North Carolina are right now. Those who have voted and have their ballots pending can only wait and see what the courts do. Voters who have not yet submitted ballots must decide whether to run the risk of their vote not counting in the mail or whether to put their health at risk by voting in person.