Supreme Court approves Rhode Island mail-in voting changes
by Kyle Ziemnick
Posted 8/13/20, 04:01 pm
WASHINGTON—Rhode Island previously required two witnesses to certify mail-in ballots. But due to the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Gina Raimondo, a Democrat, eliminated that rule for the state’s presidential primary in June. The U.S. Supreme Court in a 6-3 decision on Thursday rejected an appeal by the Republican National Committee to reinstate the requirement. Republicans contended that ballot witnesses stopped potential fraud, while Democrats and the American Civil Liberties Union argued it was impractical during the pandemic. Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch would have kept the regulation in place.
What was the reasoning? A one-page, unsigned order said no state officials opposed lifting the rule and Rhode Island had already stopped enforcing it. The state already allows mail-in voting for any reason, and state officials will send out ballots for a September state primary election on Thursday.
Dig deeper: Read my analysis in The Stew of the battle over the U.S. Postal Service and mail-in balloting.
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