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New Voting Hurdles Emerge in South Carolina, Florida as Early Voting Gets Underway in More States

HeadlineOct 06, 2020

As early, in-person voting kicked off in South Carolina Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with South Carolina Republicans by reinstating a law that requires a witness signature for mail-in ballots. Democrats argued the requirement puts people at risk during the pandemic and decreases voting. The ruling will not apply to ballots that have already been mailed. Early voting is now open in California, Iowa, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, South Carolina, South Dakota, Virginia, Vermont and Wyoming.

Meanwhile, in Florida, the state’s voter registration website crashed and stayed down for several hours Monday, the deadline to register for the November election. Kristen Clarke of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law called on Florida officials to extend the deadline, adding, “or we will explore other options to protect the rights of those seeking to register to vote.”

In Iowa, a judge has blocked a Republican directive barring counties from sending out absentee ballot applications with pre-filled voter ID information. The Republican effort to require all ballot requests be blank when sent to voters resulted in tens of thousands of ballot requests being invalidated. Election officials are now determining whether they can still get ballots to those residents whose applications were invalidated.

And in Arizona, a federal judge issued an order extending the voter registration deadline until October 23, due to the pandemic.

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