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SCOTUS Sides With S.C. To Reinstate Witness Signature Mandate For Absentee Ballots

An official mail-in ballot drop box is posted in Los Angeles.
Mario Tama
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An official mail-in ballot drop box is posted in Los Angeles.

The eight-person U.S. Supreme Court on Monday sided with South Carolina to reinstate a mandate that absentee ballots require witness signatures, even as critics argue that the coronavirus puts an undue burden on voters to safely get a witness cosign on the ballots.

The order will not apply to ballots already cast or those mailed in within the next two days, but will apply to ballots going forward for the Nov. 3 general election.

"This Court has repeatedly emphasized that federal courts ordinarily should not alter state election rules in the period close to an election," Justice Brett Kavanaugh in explaining the court's decision.

"By enjoining South Carolina's witness requirement shortly before the election, the District Court defied that principle and this Court's precedents."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Alana Wise joined WAMU in September 2018 as the 2018-2020 Audion Reporting Fellow for Guns & America. Selected as one of 10 recipients nationwide of the Audion Reporting Fellowship, Alana works in the WAMU newsroom as part of a national reporting project and is spending two years focusing on the impact of guns in the Washington region.
Alana Wise
Alana Wise is a politics reporter on the Washington desk at NPR.
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