RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Receiving and casting mail-in absentee ballots in North Carolina could take longer but be more secure in legislation that’s cleared one General Assembly chamber.

The Senate gave its final approval on Tuesday to the bipartisan measure, which was developed in response to accusations of absentee ballot “harvesting,” particularly in last year’s 9th Congressional District race.

The bill effectively creates a new step in the request process. An approved amendment develops a statewide ballot request form that contains a unique identifier to the person seeking to vote. Lists of ballot requesters will remain confidential.

Separately, the measure now heading to the House would restore early in-person voting on the final Saturday before an election day, and shift weekday voting hours during early voting from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. to 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

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