Federal ruling eases restrictions on absentee ballots for at least three Alabama counties

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A federal judge ruled in favor of voters and organizations who claim several state voting restrictions violate their rights due to hardships and risks created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to our news partners at AL.com, U.S. District Judge Abdul Kallon, who represents the Northern District of Alabama, granted a preliminary injunction which applies to the Senate runoff election in July.

This ruling will ease voting restrictions on certain voters, like those at risk of serious illness from COVID-19 based on their age or preexisting medical conditions.

In the ruling, Judge Kallon limited enforcement on the requirement that two witnesses, or a notary, sign an absentee ballot, and that voters must provide a copy of their photo ID with their absentee ballot. The ruling also blocks polling places from prohibiting curbside voting.

However, it does not clarify if the ruling applies across the state, but in a press release from the Legal Defense Fund and the Southern Poverty Law Center, it will apply in at least Jefferson, Mobile, and Lee counties.

The Alabama Secretary of State’s Office says it is reviewing the measure and will discuss how to proceed.

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