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Supreme Court blocks order that relaxed voting restrictions in Alabama

The Supreme Court on Thursday shot down a ruling from a lower court that would have eased voting restrictions in Alabama during the coronavirus pandemic. 

To vote by absentee ballot in Alabama, the state requires residents to send a copy of a photo ID and mandates that the ballot must be either signed by two witnesses or notarized.

In June, a U.S. district judge in Birmingham issued a ruling to waive the requirement that voters in three counties get their ballots notarized or witnessed by two adults and waived the photo ID requirement for residents who are 65 and older or have a disability.

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The judge, Abdul Kallon, an appointee of former President Obama, also said that the state cannot prohibit local officials from allowing curbside voting during the pandemic.

However, in a 5-4 vote along ideological lines, the Supreme Court blocked the ruling until at least an appeals process occurs.

The ruling will have a direct effect on the state's July 14 Republican Senate primary runoff. Originally scheduled for March, the runoff between former Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsAlabama zeroes in on Richard Shelby's future Tuberville incorrectly says Gore was president-elect in 2000 Next attorney general must embrace marijuana law reforms MORE and former college football coach Tommy Tuberville was postponed due to the pandemic.

Sessions was ousted as attorney general by President TrumpDonald John TrumpMinnesota certifies Biden victory Trump tells allies he plans to pardon Michael Flynn: report Republican John James concedes in Michigan Senate race MORE in 2018. The relationship between the two has continued to be sour, and the president has endorsed Tuberville.