October 20, 2020

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Alabama Birmingham: Older voters at risk for contracting COVID-19 shouldn’t have to comply with all...

Alabama

Birmingham: Older voters at risk for contracting COVID-19 shouldn’t have to comply with all the state’s requirements for casting absentee ballots, which disproportionately harm Black people during the pandemic, a federal judge decided Wednesday. Ruling in a lawsuit filed on behalf of voters with health problems that make them more susceptible to getting sick from the new coronavirus, U.S. District Judge Abdul K. Kallon said that being forced to follow some provisions during the general election could wrongly endanger their lives. Voters 65 and older with health problems shouldn’t be required to have a notary or two witnesses sign ballot affidavits or to submit a copy of a photo identification, Kallon wrote. Also, counties that wish to allow “curbside voting” should be allowed to do so for those who need it, he ruled. Otherwise, Kallon wrote, voters face the “impossible choice” of jeopardizing their health or not voting.