The North Carolina Board of Elections is assuring voters that the election is secure after an initial mix-up with absentee ballots in one of the state's counties led President Donald Trump to claim without evidence that the election is 'rigged.'
Some ballots intended for voters in Matthews were mislabeled with the wrong names and were shredded before they could be sent this week, Mecklenburg County election officials said.
"This occurred after an election worker misplaced labels on absentee return envelopes," a Board of Elections official said in a statement. "Some ballots with misplaced labels had already made it to the mail stream before the issue was detected."
Fewer than 500 voters were affected, Mecklenburg County Election Director Michael Dickerson said.
On Thursday, Trump tweeted: "Just out: Some people in the Great State of North Carolina have been sent TWO BALLOTS. RIGGED ELECTION in waiting!"
"Each absentee voter has a unique identifier barcode for their return application, and the state system will not permit two ballots from the same person to be accepted or counted," the statement from the Board of Elections said. "Once one ballot is returned and accepted, the voter's record reflects that he or she has already voted. Therefore, if that voter returned another ballot, it would not count."
In the first two weeks of absentee voting, county boards of elections across North Carolina have mailed out about 817,000 ballots, and 88,000 North Carolinians' ballots have been returned and accepted. Mecklenburg County has sent out about 115,000 ballots.4
"We are proud of the work our county boards of elections are doing under extremely difficult circumstances and with an exponential increase in by-mail voting," a Board of Elections official said. "We want to assure voters that the system is set up to ensure the election will not be affected and no one will be able to vote twice as a result of this incident."
President Donald Trump has been publicly skeptical of the absentee voting process. Earlier this month, during a visit to North Carolina, he encouraged voters to try to vote twice to make sure the system is working properly.
"They'll go out and vote and they're going to have to go check their vote by going to the poll and voting that way," Trump said. "Let them send it in and let them go vote and if the system's as good as they say it is, then obviously they won't be able to vote. If it isn't calculated, they'll be able to vote. So that's the way it is and that's what they should do."
It is illegal to vote twice.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.