The staggering departures, less than six weeks before election day in a hotly contested battlefield state, come a day after the five-member board unanimously approved the deal, which has yet to be approved by a court. A settlement hearing is scheduled for October 2nd, at which ballot papers stamped on election day can be received six days later.
In a statement, the board said it appreciated the service of the two resigned members, Ken Raymond and David Black, but the unanimous agreement “came after the advice of all board members from agency lawyers and counsel before and during last week’s closed session The agency’s legal staff, who are civil servants, provide the board with thorough legal notes prior to each board meeting and answer any questions the board members have about matters that lie before the board. “
Raymond said he could “not continue with good consciousness”
CNN has reached out to the North Carolina Republican Party for comment.
After the deal, the party called it “an obvious abuse” and said in a statement that it “is taking advantage of the requirement of witnesses in absence, extending acceptance of all postal ballot papers almost a week after the legal deadline and weakening protection against ballot harvesting” .
In a statement, North Carolina Democrat Attorney General Josh Stein described the resignations as “political theater at its most destructive.”
“The proposed Consent Ordinance is a negotiated compromise response to the biggest public health crisis in 100 years, the USPS’s slowdown in mail delivery, and a federal court order mandating a cure for postal voting errors,” Stein said. “I am committed to ensuring that all eligible voters in North Carolina are sure that they can vote easily and securely by mail or in person – and that the candidate who wins the most votes will prevail.”
As of Thursday morning, the total number of postal voting requests in North Carolina exceeded 1 million.
According to the electoral committee, the November general election received 1,002,874 ballot requests, compared to 85,261 ballots at that point in 2016. Democratic requests outperform Republican requests by more than two to one.
On Friday September 4th, election officials began sending out ballot papers to voters. Since then, more than 198,000 ballot papers have been returned to election officials.
This story has been updated to include additional reports and responses.
CNN’s Pamela Kirkland contributed to this report.